Laschet calls for an “effective corona brake”

Dhe North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) expressed alarm about the current pandemic dynamics shortly before the federal-state talks on Wednesday. The situation is “very, very serious,” said Laschet on Tuesday evening in Düsseldorf. “The measures currently in force are not sufficient to stop the trend.” With a view to the discussions between the country leaders and Chancellor Merkel on Wednesday, Laschet said that “a political course is needed to stop developments.”

Wednesday is a “crucial day” in fighting pandemic. There must be a strong response from the Prime Ministers and the Chancellor. Germany is in a phase in which “we need an effective Corona brake, not half-heartedly, but consistently with a clear time limit”. The federal and state governments would have to agree on rules that people understand. “There must be a strong joint response from the 16 countries tomorrow.” It is important to ensure the greatest possible health protection for the population without imposing a second lockdown. “Because the consequences would be damage to the children’s educational opportunities and economic damage that would exceed those from the spring.”

You need “different tools and ideas to meet the whole range of challenges that the pandemic poses.” Laschet spoke out in favor of a strict ban on contact, as in the spring, and it had proven to be effective after a few days the number of new infections has decreased. Each individual must now help to contain the virus and follow the rules in solidarity. Laschet pointed out that the vast majority of infections arise from private contacts, among friends and acquaintances. That is why he calls on citizens to drastically reduce their social contacts and to cancel all celebrations in November.

A lockdown with far-reaching restrictions on all public life should be avoided. Education and the economy should not be restricted. “There is a lot at stake if we want to prevent the lockdown, if we want to prevent the collapse of the economy, if we want to prevent the loss of many jobs, then we must now work together to achieve this great solidarity.” If we succeed, ourselves To concentrate in November, one could go into December in a “still crisis-ridden, but more relaxed Advent and Christmas season,” said Laschet. “Achieving this goal requires every effort”. November is the “month of decision”. Laschet said: “The school lessons, the educational opportunities of the children, the day-care center care deserve that all other areas help so that there is no further damage to children through weeks of absence from school and day-care centers.”

Laschet rejected a one-week corona lockdown for Germany that was brought up by the deputy CDU federal chairman Thomas Stobl. Rather, the goal must be that – as with the drastic measures in March – the daycare children, schoolchildren, families and economic life are not the ones to suffer again, said the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister. “I think a complete lockdown for a few days has all the damage just described in an increased manner. And nobody can guarantee that after seven days the situation will be better, ”said Laschet, who is also deputy CDU head of the federal government. “That’s why I think slowing down in November is more targeted than such a measure.”


The country needs new parameters

EA seemingly banal piece of wisdom is usually instilled in young doctors during their first days in hospital: You don’t treat laboratory values, you treat a person. The kidney value in the blood test may be noticeably high, but perhaps the patient has only drank too little. Nevertheless, the liver values ​​can be in the green range and the patient still suffers from severe liver cirrhosis. What if an entire country is plagued by a virus? Which values ​​do you have to know in order to assess the state of health? At the moment only one thing seems to count: the number of new infections. At the end of August it was less than 800 cases per day, this week it exceeded 10,000 and, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there were even more than 14,714 new infections on Saturday.

Johanna Kuroczik

Editor in the “Science” section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

News anchors usually announce the increasing numbers right at the start of their broadcast, newspapers keep the public up to date with live tickers and breaking news, and no other parameter seems significant for politicians either – Markus Söder speaks of the “mother of all numbers” the measures from curfew to compulsory masking in the classroom must be justified. The numerical value of new infections every day is the clock of the pandemic and now an indicator for citizens of how much fear they must be.


The fear of Friedrich Merz is huge

Friedrich Merz

The CDU must be careful that the party spirit is not eaten up for fear of Friedrich Merz.

(Photo: dpa)

The fear of Friedrich Merz must be overpowering among many top CDU officials. There is no other way of interpreting the decision of the top bodies to postpone the party congress into the coming year. It is right not to hold a face-to-face convention with 1001 delegates, which is organized as usual. However, the Junge Union has shown how one can get an attractive digital format for the three applicants for the party chairmanship and vote on it.

The reason given by the CDU leadership that in the run-up to Christmas the post would be overwhelmed with a thousand additional letters can confidently be dismissed as real satire. There was once a film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder with the title “Fear Eats Soul”. The CDU must be careful that the party soul is not eaten up for fear of Friedrich Merz.

Armin Laschet’s supporters, ranging from the acting CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier, apparently do not currently trust the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister to win over Merz. They don’t seem to be aware that they are pushing Merz more and more into the hero role.

The best man has already been chosen for the CDU base. It is the Sauerlander who evidently embodies the longing for departure most strongly. According to a Forsa survey, almost half of the CDU members want Merz to lead the party. Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen are far behind.

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CDU – Lost in Corona – Politik

Paul Ziemiak is not to be envied. The CDU General Secretary has been balancing through complicated terrain for months. On the one hand, since the announced withdrawal of his current party leader in February, he has had to do everything possible to appear fair to all successor candidates. On the other hand, since the outbreak of the pandemic, he has had to check everything imaginable in order to finally enable a party congress and thus the election of a successor to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. So far, he has succeeded in the first task. With the second, however, he has not come a step further.

There was no majority for any of the alternatives

Ziemiak therefore stood at the microphone on Monday, quite contrite, to report on the needs of his party after the meetings of the CDU committees. “Corona is fully back,” says Ziemiak. And that is why it is no longer possible to hold the party congress on December 4th in the Stuttgart Exhibition Center as planned, despite a “sophisticated hygiene concept” at the party headquarters. Ziemiak says he is aware of “the great desire for a decision”, especially among the party base. But the CDU must also “show responsibility in the pandemic”. Therefore one will not invite to the party congress now.

So far so unsurprising. This decision had been emerging for days. The number of infections has risen too much recently – and with them the appeals from politicians to please refrain from larger meetings. For many in the CDU leadership, holding a party congress with 1001 delegates simply does not fit.

More problematic than this realization is that on Monday there was no majority in the CDU committees for any alternatives to such a presence party conference. So the party leadership has decided against switching to a digital party conference with postal voting. The idea of ​​spreading the party congress over several halls in the republic in order to meet the hygiene requirements with these much smaller events was also rejected.

That Ziemiak would have liked to try the latter can be seen on Monday. This idea also went back to him. In public, however, he only talks for several minutes about the fact that there have been “good arguments” for and against everything, but that his role is not to say that “one argument is right and the other wrong”. A general secretary cannot be more neutral. But hardly more helpless.

Especially since Ziemiak is now less and less able to prevent the pandemic and how it is handled poisoning the competition for the CDU chairmanship. For the time being, Armin Laschet prevailed, who had already asked for a postponement at the weekend. The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia justified this with the corona situation. But everyone in the CDU also knows that in surveys of CDU supporters it is still behind today. In the end, it is not the supporters but the delegates who will decide on the chairmanship. But of course the polls also have an effect on the delegates.

Friedrich Merz, on the other hand, ex-parliamentary group leader and Laschet’s sharpest opponent, has identified the postponement of all decisions as an act against himself. Already in the morning he explained that in his view, not having a digital party congress with subsequent postal voting could not be justified with the Corona issue. “There are considerable sections of the party establishment who want to prevent me from becoming party leader,” says Merz. He has now openly declared war on this establishment – and finally made it his opponent.

Norbert Röttgen sounds completely different. The previous outsider in the competition shows on Monday what you say when you want to place yourself between your competitors. Röttgen speaks of a “bitter” postponement, but at the same time praises the CDU, which is proving to be a stability factor in the crisis. Now they need a “reliable plan for the new election”, preferably at a “presence party conference”. That sounds peaceful and won’t leave any scars.

How things will go on now, nobody knows. It is only clear that the previous possibilities of the big CDU for party conferences no longer fit into the new era. Because the party law is quite antiquated. It stipulates that board members may only be elected at face-to-face party conferences. At their last meeting with the Chancellor, however, the Prime Ministers decided that in regions where there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, there should only be events with a maximum of 100 participants. Exceptions require “a hygiene concept agreed with the responsible health department”. In the district of Esslingen – where the Stuttgart Exhibition Center is located, where the CDU party conference was supposed to take place – the 50 threshold has long been exceeded.

Alternatively, the CDU had planned to hold the party conference in a different location. Because of the widespread spread of the virus, this had to be discarded. Even in East Germany, which has so far been relatively spared, the maps of the Robert Koch Institute are slowly but surely turning red.

A postal vote would probably take 70 days

Only after a change in the law passed at the beginning of October, which will come into force in the next few weeks and only apply during the pandemic, the CDU now also has the two options that were discussed on Monday. You could organize a digital party conference and then have your board of directors elected by postal vote. Electronic voting is not permitted due to security risks. Alternatively, the CDU could split its party congress into different locations. For example, one hundred delegates could come together at ten locations at the same time. The application speeches of the candidates would be broadcast in the halls. A ballot box could then be used immediately at each of these locations. Like postal voting, this is considered safe.

But these two variants are also problematic. In the case of a split party congress, the responsible health department would only have to prohibit the event in one place – and the entire party congress would have been canceled. And with the postal voting option, it would take many weeks for all votes to be over. There would have to be a chairperson election first. Then probably a runoff. Then the party index would have to be determined. Then the rest of the presidium and then the board members. All of that would take about 70 days, says Ziemiak. That also explains why it is so difficult for the Secretary General.


Cancellation of the party congress causes trouble in the CDU

Friedrich Merz and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at the state party conference of the CDU Saxony at the end of 2018

The CDU leader wants to postpone the party congress, her potential successor is against it.

(Photo: dpa)

Because of the increasing number of corona infections, the CDU wants to postpone its party congress and thus the decision on a new chairman. The presidium and federal executive board decided on Monday morning – and thus caused a lot of trouble in the CDU. “The postponement of the party congress is a decision against the CDU base,” said Friedrich Merz, who is applying for the party chairmanship.

He regrets that the CDU leadership has not followed his suggestion to hold a digital party congress so that at least the new chairman can be elected, said Merz. The former Union parliamentary group leader apparently fears that the renewed postponement of the party congress could have an impact on the outcome of the race for party leadership. He blamed the CDU leadership.

If a digital party conference is not possible, “then there are obviously reasons that have little or nothing to do with Corona,” said Merz in the ARD morning magazine. There are “considerable sections of the party establishment who want to prevent me from becoming party leader”.

In party circles, the charge is rejected and referred to as “conspiracy ideology”. CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak called on the party to unity. That now also depends on the statements made by each individual. Ziemiak defended the decision to postpone the party conference.

There is a desire for a decision, but the CDU is a “party of reliability”. In view of the corona situation, a presence party conference is not possible. But this is the preferred format. Leading CDU politicians supported the decision. He thinks this is “the right decision in these times,” said Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther.

Lashes for displacement

The argument makes it clear: the question of dates has become a question of power. Merz sees himself at a disadvantage due to a postponement. His competitor, the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet, is guaranteed a permanent public presence through his office and the pandemic fight, while Merz has to fight for attention.

In addition, Merz is currently leading in polls among party supporters in front of Laschet and the third applicant, the CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen. Laschet had pleaded for a postponement. “I don’t think that we can have a presence party conference with 1000 people at a time when people are expected to stop attending events, not to leave the house,” he said.

Röttgen is closer to Laschet than Merz when it comes to the question: “With the decision of the federal executive committee, the CDU is fulfilling its responsibility in the pandemic and at the same time ensuring its ability to act in the election year 2021.”


The renewed cancellation of the federal party conference is “bitter”, but it follows “the unpredictability as a result of the pandemic”. Röttgen urged the party to unite. “Germany expects the CDU to be a factor of stability in difficult times.”

The proponents of a party congress this year refer to the statutes of the CDU. It stipulates the obligation of the party leadership to hold a federal party conference every two years. The party law also stipulates that a party congress must meet at least every two years.

Five-hour crisis meeting on Sunday evening

“The party congresses meet at least once every other calendar year,” says the law. CDU party vice-president Thomas Strobl had already pointed out the special role of the parties in the constitution in the summer and referred to the detailed hygiene concept of the party congress: “Freedom of assembly is a valuable asset and applies to demonstrations as well as party conferences.”
On Sunday there was a crisis meeting between the candidates and the CDU leadership in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus. But even after five hours there was no agreement. The only thing that was clear was that the planned party conference with 1001 delegates on December 4th in Stuttgart would be canceled.

On Monday it became clear that it was going to be postponed. The still incumbent CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had received broad support in the presidium for her proposal to cancel the party congress on December 4th, it was said in party circles. This is not feasible because of the threatening pandemic situation.

Afterwards, the discussion was much more controversial on the video link of the federal executive committee. Ziemiak had followed the directive that there should be a presence party conference. At the beginning of May he announced that he would strive for a reform of the party law and spoke of a “digitalisation boost”. What remained was a correction of the association law, according to which digital party conventions with subsequent postal voting or decentralized at several locations with on-site elections can take place.

In the federal executive board, Kramp-Karrenbauer and the parliamentary state secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Günter Krings, explained why a digital vote is constitutionally not possible, but a change in the spring failed due to the SPD’s veto.

The head of the Junge Union, Tilman Kuban, had brought a digital vote in the federal executive board again. Other board members such as the members of the Bundestag wanted to let the party congress take place. But the majority was different. However, Kramp-Karrenbauer was not able to easily implement her original proposal that the CDU leadership would not decide on the party congress at their federal executive committee meeting until January 15 and 16.

New consultations in mid-December

JU boss Kuban and the chairman of the SME and Economic Union (MIT), Carsten Linnemann, called for an earlier appointment. Both associations belong more to the Merz camp. The new schedule now stipulates that the CDU leaders will discuss the situation on December 14th. If a decision is not yet possible, you want to make a decision at the board meeting on January 15th and 16th.

The situation is difficult for the CDU. The party actually wanted to elect its new chairman in April. But the party conference in March was postponed to December 4th due to the high number of infections. Now the second rejection followed. The CDU starts the coming election year largely without a leader.

If the federal executive board agrees on a date for the retreat in mid-January, the party congress should take place in March. Then there will also be state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, which will not be easy for the CDU. The CDU chairman will also apply for a candidate for chancellor, but will have to communicate with CSU boss Markus Söder. Söder should be fine with the renewed postponement. He had spoken out in favor of clarifying the K question only in spring 2021.

When the CDU chairmanship decides, the delegates will also consider the candidate for chancellor. A late decision makes it more difficult for Merz and Röttgen. Neither of you have big teams around you yet. Unlike Laschet, who could take confidants from Düsseldorf with him to Berlin.

As Bavarian Prime Minister, Söder can also refer to government experience and a team. So far, the CSU boss has always rejected ambitions. In the end, however, not quite as vehemently.

More: Follow the current developments in the corona crisis in our news blog.


CDU Presidium postpones party congress – criticism of Merz – politics

The election of a new CDU chairman will be further delayed. The federal party conference planned for December 4th in Stuttgart has been postponed. The reason for the cancellation is the rapidly increasing number of corona infections. “The situation is very serious, Corona is back,” said CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak at a press conference on Monday afternoon. It is difficult to bring two priorities together: on the one hand, the “great desire for decision” and on the other hand security in the pandemic.

The CDU executive committee should now decide either at its meeting on December 14th or January 15th and 16th when the party congress will take place. In 2021 it should ideally take place in attendance, possibly in March. If this is not possible, a digital party conference should be held. If there is still no legal basis for this, voting should be done by postal vote.

The CDU presidium had unanimously recommended the cancellation of the Stuttgart party congress in the morning, as participants reported from the meeting. The executive committee thus followed a proposal by the incumbent chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Then the party executive agreed.

There is likely to be resentment among those in the CDU who are pushing for a decision on the leadership issue. Even before the committee meetings, Friedrich Merz, one of the three candidates for party chairmanship, positioned himself particularly clearly in this direction.

In the ARD “Morgenmagazin”, the former parliamentary group leader said that Corona was not a sufficient reason for a postponement, and expressed the suspicion that “parts of the party establishment” wanted to prevent “me from becoming party leader” with the postponement. However, Merz could not join the discussion today, he is not a member of the board.

Kramp-Karrenbauer as well as the members of the presidium prefer a face-to-face party convention, i.e. a meeting to which the 1001 delegates can travel. If this is also not possible at the beginning of next year, other options should be checked, for example an online party conference or postal voting.

Merz suspects “decision against the party base”

With the decision to cancel the meeting in December, Merz’s opponent Armin Laschet, who had called for a postponement at the weekend, prevailed. Laschet had referred, among other things, to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had repeatedly appealed to the citizens to refrain from activities and events that were not absolutely necessary.

Therefore, says Laschet, politicians must set an example with exemplary behavior. It is difficult to say who is currently ahead in the candidate race between Merz, Laschet and the third applicant Norbert Röttgen. A Forsa survey had seen Merz at the CDU base at the weekend.

The former parliamentary group leader was accordingly critical on Monday morning, while the board was still in session. “The postponement of the party congress is a decision against the CDU base,” said Merz to the Reuters news agency, referring to his popular ratings.

However, surveys are only considered methodologically difficult among party members. In addition, the delegates decide in the end. Those in the know of the party suspect that Merz and Laschet should be roughly on par with their approval.

The three-way battle between Merz, Laschet and Röttgen is about more than the party leadership. The future CDU leader will have great chances of running for chancellor of the Union parties in the federal election in autumn. The “K question” should remain open until the party congress, now stressed Secretary General Ziemiak: “Only when we have the CDU chairman will we decide on the candidacy for chancellor.”

With the decision to postpone the party congress, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will now certainly remain CDU chairwoman until 2021 – probably beyond February 10th. Then it will be the anniversary of the day you announced your withdrawal.


TV criticism Anne Will: Corona fight and infection numbers

MSometimes pictures say louder than words – even if it is not the horror paintings that particularly eager contemporaries like to paint on their virtual canvases. Last night it was the pictures during the credits of “Anne Will”. The guests got up and started talking, even without the minimum distance of 150 cm. This has not gone unnoticed by many viewers and has been lively commented on on social networks. The tenor can be summarized as follows: In this special edition about the infection process, the guests talk about keeping their distance and reducing social contacts, but then immediately forget about it. There were also somewhat more impolite formulations.

But “nothing completely straight can be made out of crooked wood as what man is made of.” The quote comes from Immanuel Kant and has become a household word in the German-speaking world. This insight into one’s own inadequacy was of course not the focus of the comments, after all, everyone just wants to unmask each other’s inadequacy. Despite everything, the risk of infection in the television studio was manageable. Closed rooms without adequate ventilation are still regarded as the most important source of infection, but require the presence of a highly infectious person.

From the practice of a health department

Aerosols also do not pay attention to the minimum distance because they tend to spread throughout the room. And those present would have had at least sixty minutes in the studio to inhale the viral load of a possibly infectious person. The virologist and entrepreneur Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff, among others, pointed out this fact. But why she feared infection in a pedestrian zone if she just passed another passer-by remained a mystery. If even such fleeting encounters were at risk of infection, we really would no longer have to worry about the health authorities’ contact tracing: it would simply be impossible. Kaschlin Butt expressed their problems well. The head of the health department in Wiesbaden not only spoke of the delay in notifying those affected. In the meantime, they should also notify possible contact persons themselves, because their office could no longer do that.

The criticism of the credits was not about the epidemiological risks in Anne Will’s television studio, but about the associated symbolism. Which, in turn, was the appropriate comment on the show. After all, Armin Laschet (CDU) had justified the rejection of the CDU party congress for the election of a new party chairman with the associated symbolism. He did not consider the planned hygiene concept to be inadequate, but rather such a face-to-face event in the current situation as not communicable. How would you explain that to the people when a funeral with only ten mourners is allowed at the same time, said the Prime Minister from Düsseldorf. However, the mourners at funerals could also be accorded the same sense of responsibility as the CDU party congress delegates. Just as an idea.


CDU: Election with risk – politics

For a long time it looked as if political operations in Germany were relatively accident-free despite the pandemic. But now it cracks and crunches everywhere: in the federal cabinet, in the federal states and in the parties. The CDU is primarily affected. She wants to appoint a successor to party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on December 4th, actually. The month-long show of the CDU candidates Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen should come to an end. After all, the election of a new party leader must be followed by the difficult free choice of the candidate for chancellor next year. But now the already complicated procedure could get completely confused. Because the CDU party congress in Stuttgart is on the brink.

This Monday, the CDU board in Berlin wants to decide whether the party conference will be postponed. For this would speak: Corona. The number of infections is skyrocketing everywhere, and the Chancellor has urged to refrain from unnecessary trips and celebrations and to limit contacts to the bare minimum. Apparently, however, she does not expect to be sufficiently heard. In her Saturday podcast, Angela Merkel replayed her appeal from the previous week. What she said at the time still applies “word for word”. Finally hold on, that’s how the message is to be understood.

The mood in the Chancellery should not have gotten better when it became known that, after Health Minister Jens Spahn, State Secretary Martin Jäger (both CDU) had received a positive corona test. As a precaution, Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) went into quarantine.

Given this background, the fact that the CDU is holding the planned party congress in Stuttgart with 1001 delegates and a group of up to 400 journalists at the beginning of December is not a very tempting scenario, even in party circles. Even a finely worked out hygiene concept would do little to counter the devastating external effects that such a meeting could develop. A postponement was therefore considered a more likely option in the end.

However, the risk of infection alone has long ceased to be an issue. The debate about postponing the party congress is also based on personal interests and sympathies. NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet was one of the first to propose that the election of new party leaders be postponed. “This party conference is not absolutely necessary now, it can be postponed,” he said World on Sunday. All of the pending questions could also be decided after the winter. “We must now focus all our strength, energy and efforts on combating the pandemic.”

Now Laschet has not exactly distinguished himself as a guardian of strict corona regulations. Some therefore saw his proposal as an attempt to buy time. Laschet did not gain stature in the Corona crisis, but as head of government in North Rhine-Westphalia could possibly make up for it and profile himself as a crisis manager. An early party congress in December, however, would benefit his rival Friedrich Merz. This did well in a current CDU member survey and is not held responsible for bad Corona numbers. The timing would be right for him.

Merz positioned himself accordingly. “According to the party law and its own statutes, the CDU is obliged to elect a new party executive this year,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “This election must take place, even if a party congress at a location with 1001 delegates is currently not possible.” What was meant was the possibility of holding the party congress with 100 to 200 people each in eight to ten halls in Germany. The speeches of the candidates would then be broadcast everywhere, the counting would be monitored by a notary on site. A law will come into force in November that will allow such personnel elections.

The Chairman of the Junge Union, Tilman Kuban, spoke out in favor of another option, postal voting. “Simply postponing the party conference again and again without knowing for sure how the situation will be in a few months will not help us,” he told the German press agency. The Union parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus, disagreed. As long as the number of infections increases, a party conference is out of the question.

The Left Party also has to choose between bad and miserable options. She has already postponed her party convention in Erfurt to October 30th. Here, too, the election of a new party leadership is pending. In contrast to the CDU, attendance is mandatory at the Left Party Congress because the recently amended law, which allows alternative electoral procedures, will not be in force at the end of October. “We will shorten the party congress a lot,” says Left Federal Managing Director Jörg Schindler of the SZ.

Left does not rule out the cancellation of their party congress

“We have a difficult process behind us,” says Jörg Schindler, Federal Managing Director of the Left.

(Foto: Christophe Gateau / dpa)

The meeting should now last one day instead of three, with significantly reduced speeches. This is not well received by the belligerent party base, after all, it should also be about a controversial government participation in the left and an alliance with the SPD and the Greens. “We know that this is an unsatisfactory situation,” said Schindler. “We have come through a difficult process.” But protection against infection comes first. It is possible that the state of Thuringia will ban mass events and thus the Left Party Congress anyway. Then the election of the board would be postponed, again.


Debate about postponement of the CDU party congress – politics

The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, who is running for the CDU chairmanship, has spoken out in favor of postponing the planned election party conference at the beginning of December due to the corona pandemic. What parties expect from the citizens, they have to do themselves: reduce contacts wherever possible. “This party conference is not absolutely necessary now, it can be postponed,” he said World on Sunday.

All of the pending questions could also be resolved after the winter. “We must now focus all our strength, energy and efforts on combating the pandemic. The people in Germany have less than ever an understanding of the fact that parties are now dealing with themselves.” Laschet competes for the chair with the economic politician Friedrich Merz and the foreign politician Norbert Röttgen.

According to the RTL / ntv “trend barometer” on Saturday, 45 percent of the CDU members would choose Merz, 24 percent for Laschet and 13 percent for Röttgen if they could vote for themselves. Merz definitely wants the party conference to take place. “We have to let it take place, despite Corona – and we shouldn’t allow the comparison to be made between the Volksfest, Oktoberfest and football game,” he said on Thursday evening at a CDU event in Hamburg.

The CDU leadership wants to decide on the party congress on Monday. It is considered to spread the event over several locations, with mutual connection via video. A model could be planning for the Lower Saxony CDU state party conference on November 7th. According to information from World on Sunday CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak wants to present a corresponding concept to the committees on Monday, which was examined and approved by in-house lawyers of the CDU and by experts from the Ministry of the Interior. The CDU would not meet with 1001 delegates in Stuttgart as planned, but with 100 to 200 delegates each in eight to ten halls in Germany. The speeches of the candidates would be broadcast everywhere, the votes would be counted in each hall under notarial supervision.

If necessary in the football stadium

Saarland’s Prime Minister Tobias Hans pleaded in the World on Sunday for this variant and declared: “Postponing the party congress into the spring of next year would be the worse alternative.” The CDU member of the Bundestag, Axel Fischer, sees it similarly. “The CDU must clarify the leadership issue on December 4th,” he said. The Bundestag with over 700 members also conduct its session weeks normally, with a hygiene concept. “That should also be possible at a one-day party congress with 1001 delegates. If necessary, the party congress of the CDU in Germany can be held in a football stadium. The Gottlieb Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart would be a good alternative.”

The Union parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus, said that as long as the number of new infections continues to rise at a high level, a party congress is unthinkable. The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach called for a cancellation. “The CDU cannot stand up for the ban on smaller events at the same time and then gather more than 1000 people in one place. Politics has a role model function, so the CDU should cancel the party conference,” he said Picture on sunday. A majority of citizens see it that way too, according to a survey. 55 percent voted in a cantar survey for the newspaper, only 36 percent were in favor of it.


Laschet and Klöckner for postponement

Julia Kloeckner

The CDU deputy chief and federal minister of agriculture is skeptical about the sharp rise in corona numbers when it comes to the party congress in December.

(Photo: Reuters)

Berlin CDU Deputy Chief Julia Klöckner advocates postponing the CDU party congress planned for early December in view of the sharp rise in corona numbers. “In the pandemic time, there is only one standard: security for one another, keeping the risk of infection as low as possible,” Klöckner told Handelsblatt. “I don’t see that at a party congress with 1000 delegates in December, I became more skeptical.”

Even if the party congress were to be divided up into various locations at the same time, the challenge was “anything but banal” to adhere to the same high hygiene concepts everywhere. And if a location had to be canceled at short notice due to an unforeseeable increase in the number of infections, a legally secure choice would be jeopardized.

“There is much to be said for a postponement,” said the Federal Minister of Agriculture. However, there is also no certainty that conditions will be “much better” in the spring. “Either way, it’s a state of uncertainty for our party members, especially when you want clarity,” said Klöckner.

The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, who is running for the CDU chairmanship, had previously called for the planned election party conference at the beginning of December to be postponed due to the corona pandemic. What parties expect from the citizens, they have to do themselves: reduce contacts wherever possible.

“This party congress is not absolutely necessary now, it can be postponed,” he told the “Welt am Sonntag”. All of the pending questions could also be resolved after the winter. “We must now focus all our strength, energy and efforts on combating the pandemic. The people in Germany understand less than ever that parties are now dealing with themselves. “

The CDU federal executive wants to decide this Monday whether and how the party conference will take place on December 4th in Stuttgart. Here the new CDU chairman should be elected. The federal CDU actually wanted to decide on the successor to party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in the spring, but had to postpone this party congress due to Corona. In view of the increasing number of infections, another debate has broken out about the meeting of the 1001 delegates.

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Laschet takes on the economic politician Friedrich Merz and the foreign politician Norbert Röttgen in the fight for the chairmanship. The new CDU leader is also considered a potential candidate for chancellor of the Union for the federal election in 2021.

Merz insists – unlike Laschet – on the party convention: “We have to let it take place, despite Corona – and we shouldn’t allow the comparison to be made between folk festival, Oktoberfest and football game,” he said on Thursday evening at a CDU Event in Hamburg said.

Armin Laschet

NRW’s Prime Minister believes that the population has less understanding than ever for “that parties are now dealing with themselves”.

(Photo: AFP)

At the weekend he affirmed: “This election must take place, even if a party congress at a location with 1001 delegates should not be possible at the moment.” After all, there is no state emergency. According to the party law and its own statutes, the CDU is obliged to elect a new party executive this year, Merz told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Röttgen recently even called for the chancellor’s question to be clarified by the end of the year.

According to a recent Forsa survey for RTL / ntv, a relative majority of CDU members are in favor of Merz as party leader: 45 percent would vote for him if they could vote for themselves. 24 percent would be for Laschet and 13 percent for Röttgen. Laschet had to put up with the reproach within the party that he expects the postponement of the party congress to have better chances of an election victory.

Relocation of the location is conceivable

CDU federal board member Christian Haase spoke out against postponing the party congress despite the sharp rise in the number of corona infections. “I think we have a good hygiene concept so that the party congress should be held,” Haase told Reuters on Sunday. “We don’t have a party.”

Alternatively, a relocation is also conceivable: “I could also imagine moving to the arena at Schalke, for example.” The CDU also plans to split up the 1001 delegates and distribute them in eight to ten halls across Germany.

The Robert Koch Institute reported more than 11,000 new corona infections within one day on Sunday. Previously, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had once again called on citizens in her video podcast to help contain the corona pandemic – by replaying her call from last week.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) spoke up for the first time since his positive corona test: Also in a video that he posted on Facebook, he warned that in view of the increasing corona numbers “also in the intensive care units”, the corona protective measures should be observed.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach believes a renewed lockdown within weeks is likely if the new infections are not contained. “If we do not succeed in restricting personal contacts in the next two to three weeks, the numbers will have risen so much in a few weeks that we only have another lockdown,” said Lauterbach of “Bild am Sonntag”.

With agency material.

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