The long-awaited CDU party conference is underway | Free press

Laschet, Merz or Röttgen – who will be the new CDU boss? The federal party conference starts in the evening. The election of the chairman is scheduled for Saturday. This is a guiding decision for the Union. And possibly for all of Germany.

Berlin (dpa) – The CDU party conference started on Friday evening with a slight delay.

At the corona-related, purely digital federal party conference with board elections – a premiere in Germany – the successor of party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will be elected on Saturday.

The solution to the personnel problem has dragged on since the spring as a result of the corona pandemic. A special party conference was originally scheduled for the end of April and a party conference in December was canceled due to the Corona crisis.

NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet, ex-parliamentary leader Friedrich Merz of the Union and foreign politician Norbert Röttgen are running for the party chairmanship. The result of the election is considered open, also because the behavior of the 1,001 delegates who participate and vote alone at home cannot be foreseen. With the election of the CDU chief, the discussion about the right candidate for chancellor should quickly gain momentum in the Union.

Speeches and greetings from outgoing Chairman Kramp-Karrenbauer, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), CSU Chief Markus Söder and EU Commission Chairman Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) are scheduled for the opening night. When the new chairman is elected on Saturday, it is expected that none of the three candidates will receive the necessary absolute majority in the first vote. At the next second vote, a simple majority of the valid votes cast is sufficient.

In order to make the “digital pre-selection” legally safe, it is followed by a vote by letter. The results will be announced on January 22. Laschet, Merz and Röttgen have assured that they will accept the results of the online vote. If you lose, you don’t want to vote by mail, which is legally possible. CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak says he has no evidence that anyone will run for the presidency at the party congress any time soon.

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