German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also chairwoman of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), speaks at the CDU federal party convention on December 4, 2012 in Hanover, Germany. The CDU has a strong lead over its opponents though has recently lost the mayoral posts in several major German cities to opposition parties. Germany faces federal elections in 2013. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN (AP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been re-elected as her party's leader with a landslide majority of 98 percent of the vote.
The backing by the delegates of her conservative Christian Democratic Union on Tuesday gives Merkel a strong mandate to pursue her policies in fighting off Europe's debt crisis and contesting the national elections due next year.
"I'm flabbergasted and moved," Merkel told a cheering audience at her party's annual convention in Hannover.
Merkel has led the party since 2000 and has governed Europe's biggest economy as the country's first female chancellor since 2005.
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