Berlin (dpa) – Following the resignation of CSU chief Markus Söder and the proclamation of CDU chief Armin Laschet as a candidate for Union chancellor, the CSU registered a sharp increase in the number of applications for online memberships.
You can hardly keep up with the processing at the moment, the CSU said when asked. CSU Secretary General Markus Blume confirmed to the newspaper “Bild” that CSU regional management in Munich alone had received more than 1,000 applications for online membership on Thursday.
Schleswig-Holstein Prime Minister Daniel Günther criticized the campaign for nationwide online memberships. “That doesn’t help,” the CDU politician told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “The situation is still a bit hardened.” The Union is strongest when you pull together in one direction. “But I think Markus Söder has done a lot in recent days to seek solidarity, because he knows that too.”
Since September 2020, the CSU has been offering online memberships that do not require you to be affiliated with a local association. CSU online members do not have internal voting rights, but can contribute digitally to the work of the party. According to party information, they get exclusive access to information, can participate in online surveys and training, and can participate in digital party events.
When asked, the CDU said that everyone would be happy to receive support for the Union. “Because we will only be together and committed, we will successfully contest the upcoming federal election campaign,” said a federal party spokeswoman in Berlin. At the same time, several CDU politicians admitted that there are currently a number of party withdrawals.
According to Günther in Schleswig-Holstein, about two dozen members have resigned from the regional association – citing the decision in favor of Laschet. “The impression is certainly not wrong that much of the basis was for Markus Söder and that he still has a lot of sympathy,” he told the FAZ.
Former party leader Friedrich Merz appealed to CDU members to stay in the party. “At the moment we have a large number of layoffs at the CDU neighborhood associations. Therefore, at this point I would like to say: please stay with the CDU, better times will come. Now we have to fight together for a good Bundestag election result, ”he tweeted late on Thursday evening. Merz was inferior to Laschet in the race for party chairmanship, but had backed the CDU leader in the fight for the candidacy for chancellor.
For example, in the CDU in Lower Saxony, there were more exits than entries after the Laschet vote. But there was no question of an exit wave, said a party spokesman in Hanover. There were no concrete figures. CDU head of state Bernd Althusmann had positioned himself for Laschet early on – however, consultations with the CDU district presidents had turned the picture on Sunday evening.