According to the German newspaper, 44 of 66 lawmakers backed Soeder, the CSU party leader, while the remaining 22 supported CDU head Armin Laschet's candidacy at a closed parliament meeting on Tuesday. Outgoing Chancellor Angel Merkel, was present at the meeting but did not take part in the discussions, Bild reported, citing the meeting's minutes.
Elections to the Bundestag will be held on September 26, 2021. Merkel has repeatedly stated that her current term in office will be her last.
The CDU/CSU is currently polling about 27 percent but is very closely followed by the Green party, which has about 21 percent of the public support. Both Soeder and Laschet have urged the bloc to hold consultations and consolidate their position.