Suhl (AP) – In Suhl, South Thuringia, four CDU district associations are deciding whether to make former President of Constitutional Protection Hans-Georg Maaßen (CDU) their direct candidate in the upcoming federal election.
A delegates meeting will vote on the staff today. Maaßen had already received approval in advance from the two largest of the four participating district associations. In the end, it was considered likely that the choice would fall on him. However, the plans also caused a lack of understanding and criticism – including within the ranks of the Union.
The Prime Minister of Bavaria, Markus Söder (CSU), described Maassen’s candidacy as a “difficult signal”. Armin Laschet, the CDU boss and chancellor candidate, recently stressed in an interview that Maaßen will also have to adhere to not cooperating or speaking with the AfD. Thuringia CDU boss Christian Hirte had also backed away from the candidacy plans, but had also made it clear that the CDU district associations in South Thuringia were free to make their decision.
The former Prime Minister of Thuringia, Bernhard Vogel, also distanced himself from Maaßen. This is “not in the middle of my party. And it does not fit the image of the CDU,” the former CDU country chief told the editorial network Germany (RND / Friday). He must accept the responsibility of the constituency delegates “But I expect that you will also consider what consequences your nomination would have for the CDU in Thuringia and throughout Germany. We need a rival anyway,” Vogel emphasizes.
Two other applicants had announced that they would generally be available for a CDU Bundestag candidacy: Hardy Herbert from Bad Salzungen and Hans-Arno Simon from Erfurt. Maassen would therefore be the only West German of the three possible candidates.
Maaßen himself told the news portal “The Pioneer” (Friday) that he had been asked by many CDU members and members of the Union in the Bundestag to become politically active “because they do not agree with the leftist course of the Union”. . Their expectation is “that I will strongly support the traditional conservative and economically liberal positions of the CDU in the Bundestag”. Maaßen described the CDU polls in Thuringia and in the federal government as a “disastrous development”. Through his work in southern Thuringia, he wanted to help “the CDU reclaim votes from AfD and non-voters protesters”.
The candidacy for the South Thuringian constituency 196 was vacant because politician Mark Hauptmann is no longer behind allegations of involvement in the mask affair. The Attorney General is investigating him on suspicion of corruption. Hauptmann is no longer a member of the CDU and is no longer in the Bundestag for constituency 196.
Maaßen was president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution between 2012 and 2018. Immediately before his release, he was heavily criticized for doubting that foreigners would be “hunted” after the murder of a German in Chemnitz. In November 2018, Maaßen was finally sent into temporary retirement. The 58-year-old is a CDU member and supporter of the union of values, which is considered particularly conservative.