Berlin (dpa) – After a failed meeting between Armin Laschet and Markus Söder on Monday evening, the outcome of the power struggle for the Union’s candidacy for chancellor is eagerly awaited.
According to information from the German news agency, the two presidents of the CDU and CSU met their closest confidant for nearly three and a half hours in the Bundestag building in Berlin. Initially there was nothing to learn about the content discussed there and the further process.
The Chancellery meeting was the provisional culmination of the Union dispute, which has been deteriorating for a week. Should rivals also fail to reach an agreement this Monday that will lead the CDU and CSU as chancellor in the elections on September 26, it could result in a decision in the Bundestag faction on Tuesday.
Five months before the federal election, the Union is under maximum pressure to make a decision as soon as possible, not only because of the internal ramifications of the dispute. In addition, the Greens – the strongest force behind the Union according to recent polls – want to present their candidate for chancellor this Monday: either party leader Annalena Baerbock or party leader Robert Habeck.
A few hours before the meeting of Söder and Laschet on Sunday evening, the Junge Union (JU) had supported Söder by a large majority, increasing the pressure on Laschet. “The two candidates had enough time to reach a decision. This has not happened and now we are forced to position ourselves. This happened with a clear majority for Markus Söder, ”said JU boss Tilman Kuban. According to the Junge Union, 14 of the 18 state presidents spoke out in favor of Söder at the conference of the regional leaders of the GO.
Should the Bavarian prime minister eventually be victorious, Laschet would be severely damaged just three months after his election as CDU chief. FDP Deputy Wolfgang Kubicki said he was “baffled” at what was happening in the CDU. “A party that declares in large parts or broadly that we cannot win an election with our chairman, must look for a new chairman,” he said Sunday evening in the “Bild” policy discussion “The right questions”.
The first mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher (SPD), sharply criticized the Union in the same panel discussion, testifying to its lack of ability to act in the corona pandemic due to the internal power struggle.
Söder and Laschet had struggled all weekend to find a solution in top secret consultations, but they failed to reach an agreement. Initially, no details of the conduct of the talks were made public. For only days it was learned from trade union circles that Laschet and Söder had good and constructive conversations with each other.
The Berlin CDU also confirmed its support for Söder on Sunday. Members of the presidency and district presidents had confirmed the unanimous opinion of the CDU presidency last Monday, country chief Kai Wegner said. “Markus Söder also has broad support at the base of the CDU in Berlin.”
In Lower Saxony, the CDU state administrator discussed the situation with district and district presidents at a special online meeting on Sunday evening. Again nothing was known about the result and according to information from the DPA, all participants agreed not to disclose it. The CDU has 325 district associations, 27 district associations, 17 state and more than 10,000 local associations across the country.
In contrast, the CDU district association Alzey-Worms had announced that in a vote, 82.9 percent of members voted for Söder and 6.6 percent for Laschet. Hamburg’s CDU boss Christoph Ploß told the “Rheinische Post” (Sunday): If there is no decision at the beginning of the week, the parliamentary group will have to decide as the only common union body.
Union party vice Carsten Linnemann (CDU) warned against a vote in the parliamentary group: “What we need now is a joint solution and not a fighting vote in the parliamentary group. Otherwise, there is a risk of opening trenches that are difficult to refill, ”he told the Funke media group.
A week ago, Laschet and Söder agreed to accept the candidacy for chancellor for the first time. As a result, the top bodies of the CDU and CSU each stood behind their party leaders. On Tuesday, both appeared in the fraction, where according to participants there was more support for Söders.