Berlin (dpa) – The polls are miserable, the candidate for chancellor is ill and the inner turmoil is correspondingly high: at the start of the final phase of its federal election campaign, the Union is under enormous pressure.
More than five weeks before the election, Chancellor-candidate Armin Laschet finally wants to step out of the defense at the central event next Saturday in Berlin’s Tempodrom. CSU chairman Markus Söder – once, and some believe, may again be Laschet’s rival for the candidacy candidacy – should help him on the podium, as should outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).
Dobrint calls for more commitment
Alexander Dobrindt, as head of CSU Bundestag member Söders Mann in Berlin, called for a more committed election campaign at the opening. “We have to take off now. Successful election campaigns need the three M: team, courage and mobilization. When it comes to mobilization, there is still room for improvement at the moment,” said the CSU regional group leader of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Saturday). “A Union result of more than 30 percent is possible, but also necessary to substantiate the claim to leadership in government participation,” said Dobrindt, who confirmed an earlier statement.
But the Union is far from that at the moment. In several studies, the CDU and CSU together score only 22 to 23 percent. The SPD, with Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz as a candidate for Chancellor, has now overtaken the Greens, who have long been second, and is very close to the Union at 21 percent. Of the large research institutes, only Allensbach sees the Union with 27.5 to 19.5 percent with a clear margin. On the chancellor preference, Laschet is far behind Scholz.
Substantive consultations with the SPD and the Greens
From Dobrindt’s point of view, there is a need for a more substantive discussion with the SPD and the Greens. “It’s about relief or burden, about freedom or paternalism, about opportunities or debt, about togetherness or against each other. These are the clear guiding decisions.”
After an election victory, Laschet first wants to launch a package to speed up planning in order to move major economic projects forward. He will “address this first and foremost,” said the CDU chairman of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Saturday). To maintain growth and competitiveness and not be left behind internationally, Germany needs to “plan, approve and implement faster”.
Laschet wants to rely more on his team
But he has also announced that he will rely more on a team in the future. “We must and will show more heads and so make it clear that we are a strong team,” he was quoted on Friday by participants in an online meeting of the Union’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag.
Asked if CSU boss Markus Söder would have been the better candidate, Dobrindt said: “The decision has been made differently. Now the CSU is fighting for Armin Laschet to become Chancellor. There are times of internal party competition, but now is the time to win the elections together.”
It is now eagerly awaited whether Söder will again make sharp remarks about Laschet at the start of the election campaign or shadow the candidate for the chancellor with a furious speech. The Union had actually planned a three-day program in the amusement park in Rust, Baden-Württemberg, but this was canceled due to the flood disaster. The Berlin Tempodrom is to switch to election campaigners on the ground – the Union will start its election campaigns across Germany on this day.
Leading CDU politicians also warned Friday against tying the cross with the FDP in federal elections on Sept. 26. “Anyone who votes for the FDP should know: eventually he can wake up with the SPD and the Greens,” CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak said on ARD. FDP leader Christian Lindner did not rule this out.