The candidates for the CDU presidency answered questions from a party audience for the first time on Saturday evening. Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen have been invited to Berlin by the CDU youth organization Junge Union (JU). JU members were connected via video conference.
Each of the applicants initially had five minutes to demonstrate why they represent a young Germany. The order was signed for the camera – with the result: Armin Laschet for Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen.
It was eagerly awaited how the candidates would interact with each other. Do they attack each other personally? In the meantime it became emotional, but the candidates remained focused and concentrated on their content.
NRW Prime Minister Laschet presented himself as a “doer” with extensive experience as a government leader. Many of the Junge Union’s current demands, such as greater climate protection, digitization or intergenerational justice, have already been implemented by its state government or are being addressed, Laschet said Saturday evening.
In his cabinet, for example, representatives of the middle class are represented, as are representatives of the workers, women and the young generation, Laschet said. He spoke out in favor of the expansion of renewables, a federal-level digitization ministry – and demanded that the party’s diversity “finally become visible in the administration”. He is fighting for a modernized CDU, Laschet promised the youth of the party.
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Merz spoke out for a renewal of intergenerational justice. Germany needs a new generation contract. The country should no longer be at the expense of the younger generation, said the former Union political group leader. Merz also said: Under his auspices, no more resolutions would be passed that shift costs into the future and burden the younger generation with it.
According to Merz, Germany must come out of the corona crisis in terms of economic and financial policy, not against, but with ecological innovations. This requires state-of-the-art technology and he is therefore aiming for a technology and start-up offensive. For him, Germany needs change: “We have become too slow.” It should no longer be at the expense of future generations.
Foreign politician Röttgen spoke out for a renewal of the party. The CDU needs to become more feminine, younger, more digital and more interesting, Röttgen said. Röttgen said problems had to be wrestled again in the CDU without the outcome being certain from the start. The party also needs credibility in the field of climate policy.
In the 1920s there will be more dramatic changes that will shake the country. Röttgen spoke of an interruption in an era. But Germany is not sufficiently prepared for it. The corona pandemic also revealed Germany’s weaknesses, Röttgen said. Germany is 10 to 20 years behind in digitization. “WLAN at every school is a pious wish.” What is needed is a pact with the aim of making Germany catch up on digitization by 2025.
The JU pitch will be followed by a two-week membership survey
At the end of the event, JU boss Tilman Kuban started a two-week member survey of the youth organization about the CDU presidency. The result is considered the recommendation of the party’s youth for election as a CDU leader. The JU – the joint youth organization of the CDU and CSU – claims to have nearly 100,000 members. Of the 1001 delegates at the CDU Party Congress, about 100 belong to the JU.
According to a survey, citizens would not want any of the three candidates to become CDU president. In the Kantar Institute survey for the Funke media group, 22 percent said they likely believed federal health minister Jens Spahn was a good CDU leader.
Several CDU politicians also want Spahn to run. However, he does not even sign up for the party chairmanship, but plays in a team with NRW Prime Minister Laschet – if Laschet wins, Spahn becomes deputy party leader.
In the survey, 19 percent believed that the ex-Union faction leader Merz would likely be a good CDU chairman, 17 percent named Laschet and 8 percent named the foreign politician Röttgen. According to previous plans, the successor to party chairman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will be elected on December 4 at the CDU federal party conference in Stuttgart, which has been shortened to one day due to the corona crisis. (Teaspoon, dpa)