Armin Laschet, favourite to succeed Merkel, admits plagiarism accusation

WION Web Team
Berlin, GermanyUpdated: Jul 30, 2021, 08:46 PM IST

Armin Laschet, the head of Merkel's CDU party Photograph:(Reuters)

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Laschet, the head of the CDU party, is the conservative frontrunner to succeed  Angela Merkel as chancellor after the German elections on September 26

Armin Laschet has apologised on Friday after becoming the second major German candidate to be accused of plagiarism.

Laschet, the conservative frontrunner to succeed  Angela Merkel as chancellor after German elections on September 26, said ''there are obviously mistakes for which I bear responsibility and I would like to apologise.''

Author and development expert Karsten Weitzenegger tweeted on Thursday that a German "plagiarism hunter" had informed him that Laschet had lifted entire sentences from his own work on integration, published a year before.

Annalena Baerbock, the Green party's chancellor candidate, was also accused of plagiarising passages of a book in June.

The scandal was one of a series of blunders that left the Greens trailing badly in the polls, having briefly overtaken the conservatives in April.

Baerbock was also criticised for her failure to declare to parliament a bonus she had received from the party, as well as inaccuracies on her CV that have since been corrected.

But more recently, Laschet has been on the back foot after he was caught on camera laughing in the background during a tribute to the victims of Germany's recent deadly floods. 

In a survey for the RTL and NTV broadcasters published Friday, the conservative CDU/CSU alliance was down to 28 percent, while the Greens rose one point to 21 percent. 

(With inputs from agencies)