11 Oct. 2021 08:32
What’s next for the Union? CDU leader Armin Laschet wants to present his plan for realigning the ailing party. It is uncertain whether this will pacify the party. Because expectations go in different directions.
After the historic disaster in the federal election, CDU leader Armin Laschet wants to present his plans for a staff and content renewal to the party leadership on Monday. First of all, the closest tour around Laschet, the Presidium, comes together in Berlin at 9:00 a.m. The federal executive committee meets from 11:00 a.m. The Union Chancellor candidate announced last week that he wanted to moderate the renewal process and propose a party congress to the bodies to reorganize.
Lower Saxony’s CDU boss Bernd Althusmann expects a clear announcement. “I assume that the Bureau will decide on a clear timetable that shows the way to a special party conference,” he said German press agency. Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther calls for personnel consequences. “Overall, we need a new start and should therefore re-elect our entire board of directors. And in the course of this year,” said Günther and criticized the fact that only men always played a role in the debate about the reorganization of the party.
In the CDU it was recently disputed how important the party base should be in the upcoming generation change. Several top politicians called for a member survey on the future party leadership. Such a survey is possible according to the CDU statute, but it has no binding effect on the decisive party congress. Other leading CDU politicians consider such a survey to be problematic, since if the result is unclear, it could lead to further division. “The CDU Germany has no better organ to consider the basis than the party congress,” said Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble on Sunday during a literature festival in Hamburg.
The role of a mere transitional party leader is also repeatedly brought into play. NRW regional group leader Günter Krings warned against such a step. This discussion seems dangerously abstract to him: “It is clear that almost four years before the next federal election a new chairman cannot automatically claim the candidacy for chancellor. But neither should we elect anyone who we do not trust in this office,” emphasized Krings. A CDU chairman must always be fit for chancellor. “We should still have that much self-confidence right now.”
Laschet had put aside his own ambitions in terms of a personnel realignment and also for possible further negotiations with the Greens and FDP about a Jamaica alliance. However, he did not give a date for a withdrawal from the party leadership. Laschet is likely to hope that there is still an option of power if the SPD, the Greens and the FDP fall out in the negotiations over a traffic light government.
Possible candidates for Laschet’s successor in the office of party leader include other health minister Jens Spahn, the foreign expert Norbert Röttgen, economic expert Friedrich Merz or parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus. The names of the three Prime Ministers Daniel Günther (Schleswig-Holstein), Tobias Hans (Saarland) and Michael Kretschmer (Saxony) are also mentioned when it comes to young hopefuls in the party. Günther made it clear, however, that he did not see himself “at the forefront” in the reorganization of the party. The politician from Schleswig-Holstein and his party colleague from Saarland are facing not easy state elections in the coming year. Kretschmer must above all take care of the political fight against the right-wing populists of the AfD, who had become particularly strong in the federal elections in Saxony, according to the CDU.
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