India Dispute over CDU party congress: Merz raises serious allegations against party leaders

20:20  26 october  2020
20:20  26 october  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

survey: Germans favor Jens Spahn as the new CDU boss

 survey: Germans favor Jens Spahn as the new CDU boss 22 percent of Germans would like the federal health ministers to be the CDU chairman. However, he is not running at all, but supports Armin Laschet. © Reuters Spahn does not apply for the CDU chairmanship, but competes in a team with NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn would have good cards from CDU chairman, but few good cards as candidate for chancellor of the Union.

The postponement of the CDU party congress angered Friedrich Merz - his competitor Laschet wanted them. What's next now?

Die Rivalen. Wird es nun doch noch hässlich im Wettbewerb um die CDU-Spitze? © Photo: Michael Kappeler / dpa The rivals. Is it still getting ugly in the competition for the top CDU?

Friedrich Merz is angry. When he arrived in the studio on Monday morning for his appearance in the ARD morning magazine, it was already becoming clear that the CDU party convention in December would not work. He is firmly convinced that a party congress is possible despite Corona, says Merz. If not, then it must at least be a digital party conference. "And if we do not hold this party congress either, then I have to say: Corona can no longer be justified." There are "considerable parts" of the party establishment , "who want to prevent me from becoming party leader".

Fight for the CDU chairmanship: Follow the debate between Laschet, Merz and Röttgen on the live stream

 Fight for the CDU chairmanship: Follow the debate between Laschet, Merz and Röttgen on the live stream At the end of the event on Saturday evening, JU boss Tilman Kuban wants to start a two-week member survey of the youth organization on the CDU chairmanship. The result is considered to be the recommendation of the party’s youngsters for election to the CDU leader. The JU - the joint youth organization of the CDU and CSU - claims to have almost 100,000 members. Of the 1001 delegates at the CDU party congress, around 100 belong to the JU.

By then it is clear: the decision to postpone the party congress means discord. The evening before, CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had sat for a long time with the three candidates for the CDU chairmanship. There was no agreement. Now the top of the CDU has decided on a kind of compromise, but it does not satisfy all three candidates.

At the moment Merz is in the lead among the members.

The party congress planned for December 4th with the election of the new CDU boss is postponed due to the rapidly increasing number of infections. In mid-December, the CDU leadership wants to discuss again whether a presence party conference will be possible in the foreseeable future. Otherwise, there should be a digital party congress and - if the legal situation does not allow otherwise - a postal vote. The final decision on the form of the party conference should be made in mid-January at the latest, said CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak on Monday in Berlin.

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 shareholder advocates miss a clear strategy at Thyssenkrupp Düsseldorf (Reuters) - shareholder advocates criticize Martina Merz, CEO of Thyssenkrupp, in view of further sales of businesses. © Reuters / MICHAELA REHLE Thyssenkrupp's logo is seen outside elevator test tower in Rottweil "We still miss a clear strategy from Ms. Merz. Where does she want to lead the group?" Said the managing director of the German Association for Protection of Securities (DSW) , Marc Tüngler, on Wednesday the Reuters news agency.

It is no wonder that the debate about the timing and form of the party congress is so heated in the CDU: procedural questions are questions of power. Friedrich Merz sees himself at a disadvantage due to the postponement. A Forsa survey only came out at the weekend in which significantly more CDU members spoke out in favor of him than Armin Laschet or Norbert Röttgen as CDU chairman. It is true that the delegates, and not the ordinary members, decide on the party leader. Nevertheless, the survey can be read as a barometer of sentiment, which is currently in favor of Friedrich Merz. But it doesn't have to stay that way. In contrast to North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet, the Sauerland does not hold a government office. If the infection situation worsens, Merz could move back into the background.

Video: Politicians welcome the postponement of the CDU election party conference (dpa)

CDU party congress: Armin Laschet for postponement

 CDU party congress: Armin Laschet for postponement Actually, Armin Laschet wanted to be elected as the new chairman at the CDU party congress in early December. But now the NRW Prime Minister is pleading for a postponement due to the corona pandemic. © ADAM BERRY / POOL / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock Armin Laschet has spoken out against the planned CDU election party conference at the beginning of December. What parties expect from the citizens, they have to do themselves: reduce contacts wherever possible.

The postponement is viewed with concern

Now he is trying again to position himself as a candidate against the “party establishment”. In order to feed this “up against down” story further, Merz added again on Monday lunchtime: “ The postponement of the party congress is a decision against the CDU base,” he tweeted. His competitor Armin Laschet, on the other hand, had campaigned for the postponement at the weekend. Candidate Norbert Röttgen also supported this.

So is it still getting ugly in the fight for party leadership? As early as August, Kramp-Karrenbauer had called on the candidates to behave responsibly. "Whether a selection of good candidates turns into a ruinous competition is the responsibility of each individual," she said. The irritation about Merz's statements is correspondingly great in parts of the party.

At the same time, the shift is viewed with concern. The longer the party remains without a new chairman, the longer AKK will be a CDU leader on call at the top . The internal party election campaign will drag on into the state election campaigns in spring 2021. And because the candidate for chancellor in the Union is closely linked to the CDU presidency, it will not be clear in the coming months who will lead the Union in the federal election campaign.

A postal vote could drag on for 70 days

If at the beginning of 2021, due to Corona, there is still no attendance party conference and a postal vote becomes necessary, the election of the chairman will also be a tough process. Secretary-General Ziemiak spoke of 70 days: first the presentations in digital format, the dispatch of the ballot papers, later the runoff election by post and the election of the deputies in the same way.

Actually there would have been a possibility to keep the date on December 4th. Secretary General Ziemiak had suggested broadcasting the speeches digitally at ten to twelve locations in Germany and having them voted there. But even against this proposal, the reservations outweighed. So it will remain unclear for the CDU for a while when and how it will get a new chairman.

CDU chairmanship: Christian Hirte brings Ralph Brinkhaus into play .
Still-party leader Kramp-Karrenbauer ponders a possible surprise candidate in the power struggle for her successor. Thuringia's CDU boss Hirte has an idea. © TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP The Thuringian CDU state chief and member of the Bundestag Christian Hirte has brought the head of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Ralph Brinkhaus , into play as a possible candidate in the power struggle for the party's federal chairmanship.

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