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Germany's Merkel Reelected As Conservative Party Head


German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts after she was reelected as chairwoman at the CDU party convention in Essen on December 6.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won reelection as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in office next year, won 89.5 percent of votes cast by just under 1,000 party delegates at a congress of the CDU in the western city of Essen on December 6.

Merkel, who ran unopposed, was short of the 96.7 percent she won two years ago.

Merkel’s open-door policy toward migrants has angered some German voters and dented the CDU's support.

She is expected to toughen up the party's stance on migrants in the wake of a string of election successes by the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Before the congress voted, Merkel attacked the rise of populists in Germany while underlining her support for a proposal to ban the niqab, or full-face veil, in public places.

"The full veil must be banned wherever that is legally possible," Merkel said.

The party has begun drawing up plans for banning the garment in areas such as courts and while driving cars.

"The world is not black and white," said Merkel. "Rarely is it the easy answers that bring progress to our country."

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP