Consult the base to recover from the shock of the breakup. Stunned by its historic defeat in the German legislative elections of September 26, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will, for the first time, have its president elected by all of its 400,000 members and not by its only 1,001 delegates (executives and elected officials), as is usually the case. The winner will be invested during a congress which will take place on January 21 and 22, 2022 in Hanover (Lower Saxony).
Taken by the party leadership on Tuesday, November 2, this decision was expected since a majority of some 350 section secretaries, meeting Saturday in Berlin, had said in favor of all members appointing the successor of Armin Laschet, who had announced his departure from the presidency of the party in early October, after the victory of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the legislative elections. “I think it is a good solution to allow the party to know a new beginning”Mr. Laschet said Tuesday at a brief press conference.
Candidates thwarted by Merkel
If no suitor has yet officially declared himself, two personalities make no secret of their ambitions: Friedrich Merz, 65, herald of the right wing of the party, and Norbert Röttgen, 56, of more centrist sensitivity. Unhappy candidates for the presidency of the party, in January, the two men have in common, besides being Catholics and elected from North Rhine-Westphalia, like Armin Laschet, to have seen their careers thwarted by Angela Merkel during her long reign at the head of the CDU (2000-2018). In 2002, Friedrich Merz was ousted from the presidency of the parliamentary group and Norbert Röttgen was dismissed from his post as environment minister by the chancellor in 2012.
While three other names are also circulating – those of Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, the chairman of the group in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus, and MP Carsten Linnemann, spokesperson for SMEs in the CDU – the list of candidates should be known soon enough. According to the roadmap announced on Tuesday, they will have to make themselves known before November 17. Then the ballots will be sent to members at the beginning of December for a first round, the results of which will be announced on December 17, before a possible second round which will take place between December 28 and January 14, one week before the investiture congress.
Among the leaders of the party, some did not hide that they would have preferred a tighter schedule. First, because they are worried that the CDU will be left rudderless for too long, while the “traffic light” coalition of the social democrat Olaf Scholz and his Green and Liberal allies (FDP) must take the reins of government. in the week of December 6. Then, because they believe that the CDU has no time to waste in too long internal debates if it wants to be ready for the three regional elections in spring 2022 – March 27 in the Saar, May 8 in the Schleswig-Holstein and May 15 in North Rhine-Westphalia. Three regions chaired by the Christian Democrats and whose conservation is a major stake in the reconstruction process which begins after the rout of their party in the last legislative elections.
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In Germany, CDU members called to elect their president