New leader of Merkel's party moves to consolidate power

Newly elected party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer waves after the election at the party convention of the Christian Democratic Democratic Unio

Newly elected party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer waves after the election at the party convention of the Christian Democratic Democratic Unio

Paul Ziemiak, head of the Christian Democratic Youth organization Junge Union, applauds during the party convention of the Christian Democratic Party

Paul Ziemiak, head of the Christian Democratic Youth organization Junge Union, applauds during the party convention of the Christian Democratic Party

Newly elected CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, waves during the party convention of the Christian Democratic Party CDU in Hamburg, Ger

Newly elected CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, waves during the party convention of the Christian Democratic Party CDU in Hamburg, Ger

Newly elected CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, is flanked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, as she waves during the party con

Newly elected CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, is flanked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, as she waves during the party con

Newly elected CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer blows a kiss at the party convention of the Christian Democratic Party CDU in Hamburg, Germany

Newly elected CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer blows a kiss at the party convention of the Christian Democratic Party CDU in Hamburg, Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, applauds newly elected party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer after the election at the party convention

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, applauds newly elected party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer after the election at the party convention

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's successor at the helm of Germany's main center-right party is moving quickly to consolidate her power after a narrow victory, proposing a young conservative for a key leadership post in a move that appears designed to build bridges.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, an ally of Merkel who is close to her centrist stance, was elected as chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union on Friday. She defeated Friedrich Merz, a one-time Merkel rival who stood for a more decisive break from the longtime chancellor's era.

Kramp-Karrenbauer on Saturday proposed Paul Ziemiak, the 33-year-old leader of the party's youth wing, as her general secretary — the official in charge of day-to-day political strategy.

The 56-year-old Kramp-Karrenbauer held that job herself until her election Friday. Merkel plans to continue as chancellor.