Angela Merkel facing leadership questions as Bavarian vote looms

DW: The German chancellor Angela Merkel‘s party is about to undergo a month of stress tests with elections in the states of Bavaria and Hesse. But despite internal grumblings, the CDU is a long way from staging a real leadership battle, Deutsche Welle reports. Last month, Merkel lost one of her best allies in the German parliament: Volker Kauder, the conservative chief whip who was a master at heading off internal dissent in the Bundestag, and who had reliably delivered the chancellor majorities since 2005. The fact that he had been voted out by the parliamentary group and replaced by the relatively unknown Ralph Brinkhaus was widely read as proof that the support in her party was crumbling.