16:12 GMT26 January 2021
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    The congress of Germany's governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was meant to take place in April 2020. However, it was postponed until December due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in Germany.

    BERLIN, (Sputnik) - German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Tuesday she had no qualms about stepping down as the leader of the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU).

    Once heir apparent to Chancellor Angela Merkel, the 58-year-old announced in February she was quitting as CDU leader, eliminating herself from the upcoming race for the country's top job.

    "The decision I made was well-thought-through. I was convinced — and still am — that this decision was the right one for the party and for me personally," she said at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum.

    The party has been de facto rudderless for almost a year pending a leadership contest, which has been delayed until next year amid a hike in coronavirus cases. Three people will run for the party chair and the CDU nomination for chancellorship at the 2021 parliamentary election.

    As of Tuesday, Germany's total toll of coronavirus cases stands at around 929,133, including 14,112 deaths, according to the latest situation report from the Robert Koch Institute, which compiles the data for the German government.

    Christian Democrats, Defense Ministry, Germany
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