Berlin (dpa) – The Green Council wants to propose on April 19 which of the two party leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck should take over the candidacy for chancellor in the federal elections.
The Greens director, Michael Kellner, informed the state presidents and the party council in a letter received by the German news agency. The final decision will be made at the Green Party Congress from June 11-13. However, it is expected that the highest party committee will follow the proposal of the Greens summit – however it turns out.
Kellner made it clear that the Greens are entering the Sept. 26 elections with the clear goal of winning the chancellery. “We want to lead the country into the future. That’s why we’re fighting for the historically best green result of all time and for the leadership of the next federal government. “
The Greens had their best result so far in a federal election in 2009 with 10.7 percent, in the last election in 2017 they only got 8.9 percent. In the polls, they are currently the second strongest force behind the CDU / CSU at more than 20 percent.
The persistently high poll numbers since the fall of 2018 have led the party to nominate a candidate for chancellor for the first time in its history – even though Baerbock and Habeck still want to appear as a top duo in the election campaign. The two have repeatedly confirmed in recent weeks that they want to clarify the K question among themselves first. “I don’t think it’s hard for all of us to say you’re the right one,” Baerbock openly admitted in “Spiegel” recently. “But in the end it is of course a small stab in the heart.”
The sympathies of the entire electorate are more towards Habeck. In a Civey poll conducted on behalf of “Spiegel” in March, 33 percent thought he was the more suitable candidate for chancellor, and only 23 percent were for Baerbock. However, the trend is continuously moving towards Baerbock. In November 2019, Habeck was still ahead with 42 to 11 percent. Preferences are already evenly distributed among Green supporters: 41 percent goes to Habeck, 40 percent for Baerbock.
In addition to the sympathy values, 51-year-old Habeck mentions that he has already gained government experience as Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein. The 40-year-old Baerbock, on the other hand, is considered stronger in terms of content.
When asked whether gender would play a role in the candidacy for chancellor, Habeck said in mid-March about the ARD program ‘Anne Will’: ‘If Annalena Baerbock were to say as a woman: I do it because I have a woman – and the women have the first right of access – then of course she has it. But neither Annalena nor I argue that way. “
So far there have been no disputes or major public discussions among the Greens about the candidate. The fact that the two presidents make the decision among themselves is surprisingly widely accepted by the actually very grassroots party. “Both are always the best choice,” says Claudia Roth, Vice President of the Bundestag, of the editorial network Germany (RND). Green veteran Daniel Cohn-Bendit, speaking out for Habeck in the current issue of “Zeit”, is more of an isolated case.
The Greens are not the first to clarify the K question. The SPD very early appointed Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. Greens general manager, Kellner, announced a few weeks ago that the decision between Baerbock on the candidacy for chancellor should be made between Easter and Whitsuntide – “when the trees are really green again”. It was expected that now, shortly after Easter, they would no longer hesitate. With this, the Greens also want to show a sign of determination, while the CDU and CSU are still unclear about the further timetable.
In the Union, however, people are reluctant to let the Greens drive ahead. The impatience is growing: the union leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) spoke at Deutschlandfunk about an “enormous interest” from the members of the Bundestag to clarify the K question, even CSU veteran and ex-chancellor candidate Edmund Stoiber insisted urges to hurry.
Like the Greens, the union has also set the time window between Easter and Whitsun for the decision, and there are two party leaders to choose from – but from different parties: Armin Laschet (CDU) and Markus Söder (CSU). Unlike the Greens, the situation in the Union is characterized by unrest and mutual observation.
While Laschet has long been looking for a quick clarification in making the decision, Söder is in no hurry. He likes to refer to the SPD, which has long chosen its candidate. “The idea has not really ignited yet,” said Söder on Tuesday evening on the ZDF talk show “Markus Lanz”. He also likes to stress that the Union needs not only a candidate for success in September, but also an election manifesto.
Even though the Bavarian prime minister has never publicly commented on his own ambitions on the K question, many Söder see an advantage in the Union if the decision is delayed. They like to refer to the polls in the CSU that Söder sees far ahead of Laschet. Moreover, many in the Union still believe that their candidate should be voted on by the decision of the Greens. In other words, we have to wait and see who will send the Greens into the race.
The CSU boss likes to be soothing. It is important for the Union to calm the debate. And: “CDU and CSU must be closed, that is the basis for success,” he said in “Markus Lanz”, referring to the divided union community in the asylum dispute in 2017 and 2018.