US News The CDU politician is striving to return to the Bundestag: Friedrich Merz wants to know it again

18:37  02 march  2021
18:37  02 march  2021 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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Twelve years ago, Friedrich Merz turned his back on politics and the Bundestag in frustration. Two defeats later, the 65 year old wants to go back.

Nächstes Ziel Bundestag - Friedrich Merz bei seiner Bewerbungsrede als CDU-Vorsitzender © Photo: Michael Kappeler / dpa Next goal Bundestag - Friedrich Merz in his application speech as CDU chairman

That Friedrich suddenly pointed out, says one from the CDU in the Hochsauerland district, that surprised him. Because Friedrich Merz could seek a parliamentary mandate in his old constituency was not an issue until last week - not even for Merz himself. But when he licked his wounds after his second defeat in the race for the CDU chairmanship, he obviously realized that without a seat - and thus not least the right to speak - to pursue a further career in Berlin in Parliament could be difficult.

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The only problem is: the constituency already has a member of parliament. And Patrick Sensburg doesn't like to just vacate the seat without a fight.

A constituency with broomstick quality

That is understandable, as the Hochsauerland constituency is one of the few in the country where even the proverbial broomstick would surely have a majority if it were hung up with a CDU party book. Sensburg took over the constituency in 2009 after Merz had withdrawn from politics in frustration, and has since won it three times directly. Sensburg announced at the beginning of the year that he wanted to compete again. He affirmed this when Merz's ambitions became known: he will stick with his application in any case.

Merz supported the successor in January. But at that time he was still a candidate for the CDU chairmanship and was firmly convinced that this time he was on the direct route to the Chancellery. He gratefully declined requests to take over a constituency as a direct candidate.

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But only then came the defeat and then the rejection for the attempt to defy the Ministry of Economics . He himself turned down a seat on the CDU presidium. Merz then disappeared from the scene for the time being.

But in the meantime the chance for a second career seems to him more attractive than retirement at 65. In the local “Westfalenpost” Merz only once stated that he was “not averse” to a mandate. At the same time he assured him that he did not want to run a fight against Sensburg.

Internally it had already become clearer. The CDU has known since Sunday: "Fritze" wants the mandate. Thereupon the largest CDU city association Arnsberg and the neighboring Sundern nominated him unanimously as their candidate on Monday evening.

No interest in fight candidates

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On this Tuesday evening, the district executive now wanted to deal with the situation. This is unusually tricky for the generally orderly conditions in the Upper Sauerland.

The candidate will be officially elected in April. Nobody is interested in weeks of open battle. After all, there are currently even three interested parties - in addition to Merz and Sensburg Bernd Schulte, whom the local association Meschede sent into the race on Friday.

Schulte works in the office of Armin Laschets State Chancellery Nathanael Liminiski, which immediately led to conspiracy theories that the federal and state chairman had his fingers in the game. In Düsseldorf it is assured that no, he did not. Laschet's interest in integrating the defeated competitor into the parliamentary group and possibly even into a government

, which he himself then hopes to lead as Chancellor, would be obvious. In the end, Laschet was able to study long enough what potential for chaos a free-floating Merz can develop. But either way: Schulte had expressly announced his candidacy to Sensburg as a declaration of war; The 34-year-old could withdraw it from an applicant Merz without losing face.

So the task remained to make a retreat palatable for the seat owner Sensburg. It is unlikely that the MP, who is also the chairman of the reservists' association, will be able to prevail against the celebrity in a fight vote. Merz is not a regular guest at shooting festivals. But he has remained true to his homeland in the Sauerland.

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