International

Struggle for party leadership: and the CDU begins to suffer again – politically

That was so long ago! In February Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, still party leader, announced her withdrawal from the top of the CDU. A kind of liberation, both for her and for her party. Both were increasingly bothered by surveys and each other. It should be over by April. If it hadn’t been for Corona. Now the successor will be chosen on December 4 – or later, because of the pandemic. If that works?

The CDU is starting to suffer again: from competition between candidates. Your list is unchanged. There are the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet with the support of the Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the former short-term Union political group leader Friedrich Merz and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag, Norbert Röttgen.

The first like Angela Merkel, the second her eternal adversary, the third fired from her. As of today, the second in this list is the first: Merz would become chairman with nearly twice as many percentage points as Laschet. And that although the prime minister is.

However, the numbers are survey results of members, not delegates. At a party congress, Laschet, as head of the regional association with the largest number of members, could perhaps gain the upper hand. That is, if Spahn stays by his side and is behind him, in every way. Some delegates are concerned that Laschet still doesn’t give the impression that he really wants the party office and then the chancellery. This has already been made very clear to him in secret meetings.

Norbert Röttgen plays a role in all this only insofar as the question is which of the other two candidates will cost more votes, Merz or Laschet. But where and how? In a virtual membership poll, a virtual party conference – or even in a face-to-face meeting of 1000 delegates, and that in these times, either in Stuttgart or Leipzig, as was recently considered?

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In these times: that’s what it’s all about. The ongoing pandemic increases the need for security, the CDU leadership is just experiencing. So the idea was brought to her to have Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer perform until the corona crisis subsided. That means: see you next spring. But that is not what Kramp-Karrenbauer wants, you can hear that after all. The quasi-interregnum is probably taking too long for you – in terms of clarity alone for next year, the election year.

High time for clarity

Because the victorious candidate, if at all possible, must also become chancellor. This has to do with the CDU’s self-image as the chancellor’s party; it does not see itself as an appendage to the smaller CSU. And its chairman Markus Söder is currently very popular. In retrospect, that might as well have been a snapshot.

Namely when a strong new CDU leader makes his claims and ambitions clear outside the party. If it promises support and orientation, both internally and externally. What can only be expected if the CDU leadership has agreed on the judicial election process. It’s time. It has been a long time since the pandemic hit the country and politics.

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