(Bloomberg) — The leader of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union may have thwarted her critics for now, but a raucous speech by a key Bavarian ally made clear that questions over her leadership will linger.A day after CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer foiled rivals with a confidence vote at the party’s annual meeting, Markus Soeder, the leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, gave a speech that drew cheers, sustained applause and highlighted some of the shortcomings of Kramp-Karrenbauer.The Bavarian state premier’s focused and snappy speech contrasted with the CDU chief’s 87-minute, often rambling, keynote address on Friday. AKK, as she’s known, has been battered by missteps and electoral losses, and last month faced an open challenge to her leadership.Merkel, who during much of the convention sat quietly observing the proceedings, perked up and walked across stage to sit down for a lengthy chat with AKK and Soeder, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to the chancellor who has been in office for 14 years.While AKK jumped from primary education to block-chain technology and family values in her address, Soeder cut to the point, tearing into the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, as “the enemy” and accusing the Greens of having a moral double standard.CDU members lapped it up.“AfD functionaries don’t want to take us back to the 70s, they want to take us back to the 30s,” Soeder said. The Greens, he said, support expanded mobile service, but protest every cellular base station.Soeder is far from a front runner. Over nearly two years as Bavarian prime minister and less than a year as CSU chief he focused mostly on building his power base in Munich.The CDU and Bavarian CSU, which campaign jointly on the national level, have put forward a Bavarian candidate for the chancellorship only twice in Germany’s post-World War II history, in 1980 and 2002.To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Donahue in Leipzig, Germany at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net;Arne Delfs in Leipzig, Germany at adelfs@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Raymond ColittFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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