BERLIN (GN): Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU will choose a new leader at a special congress in April or May, sources said on Monday, as the party scrambles to prepare for the veteran German chancellor’s departure. Merkel’s initial heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, resigned as party leader this month over a scandal involving apparent cooperation with the far right. The surprise move threw open the race to succeed Merkel, who has been in power for more than 14 years and plans to bow out at the next general elections in 2021. The Christian Democratic Union’s extraordinary party congress in spring should anoint a new chairman, who would then be almost sure to become the party’s candidate for chancellor. Kramp-Karrenbauer — widely known as “AKK” — held talks with party grandees on Monday with the CDU still in crisis mode. On Sunday, the party suffered its second-worst result ever in a regional election, coming third in Hamburg with just 11.5% of the vote. It is also engulfed in an internal debate as to how it should position itself against the extremes of right and left that have reshaped the nation´s political landscape. Far-right crisis After barely a year as head of the party, AKK announced her resignation on February 10.