The ball of contenders is launched, among the Christian Democrats, while the CDU leadership announced an extraordinary summit on April 25, to nominate both its leader and its candidate for the succession of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Two leading party leaders, initially suspected of campaigning against each other, will form an alliance. Tuesday 25 February, at a joint press conference, Jens Spahn, 39, stood behind the candidacy of Armin Laschet, 59, powerful president of Westphalia-North Rhine-Westphalia, region rounded up in 2017 to the Social Democrats of the SPD.
The Spahn-Laschet duo, or the bet of complementarity
A supporter of continuity with Angela Merkel’s centrist line, he is one of the few party officials who can boast of a recent electoral victory as the CDU backs down poll after poll. Sunday, February 23, in the Hamburg region, the Christian Democrats demoted to third position with 11.2% of the vote, one of the worst scores in the post-war period, far behind the SPD (37.5% ) and the Greens (25%).
→ READ. Germany, after scathing defeat, CDU prepares for post-Merkel
” There can only be one “, conceded Jens Spahn, whose profile on the right completes that of Armin Laschet, on good terms with the Greens and the Liberals, and therefore well placed to federate around him a coalition which leaves the CDU-CSU / SPD scheme . “I regret that not all the candidates were able to join this team idea”, said the latter.
Friedrich Merz, or the temptation of the hard right
The remark was made against Friedrich Merz, 64, a longtime enemy of Angela Merkel. He never forgave the “Social democratization” of his party, and leaves no ambiguity on the right turn he wants to start. His goal, “Halve the electoral weight of the AfD”. In a competing press conference on Tuesday February 25, he introduced himself as the man “Of rupture and renewal”, focusing his speech on “Lawless areas in Germany” and “illegal immigration”.
A third candidate came out of the woods on Tuesday 25 February: the centrist Norbert Röttgen, 54, former federal environment minister dismissed in 2012 from the government by the chancellor.
→ READ. In Germany, the CDU sinks into the political crisis
The choice of the future party president “Will be a clear signal for the candidacy for the Chancellery”, insisted Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said “AKK”, Angela Merkel’s former runner-up at a press conference. The resigning CDU president had to leave the room, criticized for her lack of authority in post-electoral management in Thuringia, where an alliance with the AfD was envisaged, despite the party’s ban.
Choose your wedding rings well
The strategy to be adopted vis-à-vis the AfD, accused of having created a climate favorable to violence by the far right, will in any case be at the heart of the discussions after the racist terrorist attacks in Hanau (center). The CSU, “Brother party” of the CDU in Bavaria, will have a say. His boss, Markus Söder, has already ruled out any merger with the AfD. For him, this fringe of the electorate is not recoverable. He prefers to address environmental sensitivities. The CDU currently collects 27% of voting intentions at the federal level, far from the 33% obtained in the last federal elections. The AfD is credited with 14% of the vote, far behind the Greens, at 23%.