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Politics

Merkel to drum up election-year support at CDU convention

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party is set to come together for its national party convention. Merkel is expected to be elected the party's executive for the seventh time in a row.

Helfer tragen Tische am 03.12.2012 beim 25. Bundesparteitag der CDU Deutschlands in der Messehalle 13 in Hannover (Niedersachsen). Der CDU-Parteitag findet vom 3. bis 5. Dezember in Hannover statt. Foto: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
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Aufbauarbeiten CDU Parteitag Hannover

The CDU's convention is scheduled to get underway on Tuesday in the northern city of Hanover, and Merkel is widely expected to be chosen to lead the party once again. She'll be hoping for as many delegates' votes as she can get as a sign of support as she shifts her focus to her re-election campaign in federal elections next year.

CDU sticking points

Merkel's nomination will likely be one of the easy decisions for delegates to make at the convention. The other items on the agenda, however, could be a bit more contentious.

Equal tax treatment for homosexual couples and better pensions for mothers are also up for debate as the CDU cements its policies heading into an election year.

Ahead of the opening of the CDU convention on Tuesday, Merkel said that the party has engaged in "lively discussions" about tax equality for homosexuals compared to heterosexual couples.

"When, if not during the party convention, should the entire party discuss an opinion on something?" Merkel said in an interview with German public television on Monday. Leading figures in the CDU have come out in favor of equal taxation, but Merkel herself is against it.

In the same interview, Merkel gave her support to the idea of giving mothers a better pension.

"There is an injustice here," she said. "I will support the position that has us saying, 'yes, we have to make a clear signal here.' That's going to be our task."

The party is generally in favor of giving mothers more pension money, but general budget consolidation means there are differing opinions in the party of the best way to come up with the money.

The CDU's convention is scheduled to wrap up on Wednesday.

mz/jm (dpa, Reuters)

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