Two German state governors declared their willingness to become the centre-right candidate for the country’s September 26 national election.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not seeking a fifth term after 16 years in power.
Her centre-right Union bloc has yet to choose its candidate between two state governors, Armin Laschet and Markus Soeder.
“Markus Soeder and I had a long talk,” Mr Laschet told reporters after a meeting of the leaders of the parliamentary party factions of the Union bloc.
“We both have declared our willingness to run for the candidacy for the chancellery.”
He hopes to succeed Mrs Merkel as chancellor as does Mr Soeder, who is Bavaria’s governor and the head of the CDU’s Bavaria-only sister party CSU.
The centre-right Union bloc, which is made up by the two parties but dominated by the CDU, has not yet decided on its candidate for the parliamentary election.
However, a decision is expected in the coming days.
“We determined that both of us are capable and both are ready, which is important, and that we both grant respect for each other.”
“It is our goal, in this situation in which the country finds itself, with a chancellor, who is leaving office, to create as much unity as possible between the CDU and the CSU,” Mr Laschet said.