Lagging in polls, Merkel party’s candidate seeks expert help

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BERLIN (AP) — The center-right Union bloc’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in Germany’s election this month is struggling to reverse a sustained downward trend in the polls. A survey released by public broadcaster ARD showed the Union bloc receiving 20% of the vote compared to 25% support for the center-left Social Democrats. The bloc’s candidate for the chancellorship, Armin Laschet, said Friday that he has named eight experts to advise him on issues such as climate change and education. Speaking at the Berlin headquarters of his Christian Democratic Union party, Laschet said he wants his new team to reflect the Christian-social, liberal and conservative wings of the party. Half of the team’s members are women.

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