The Christian Democrats elect their president on Saturday who will lead the German right to the legislative elections in September with the hope of occupying the supreme chair.
German Christian Democracy is at a turning point in its history. Gathered at their annual conference, organized virtually, 1,000 CDU delegates will elect a successor to the current president, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, on Saturday. With in sight, the candidacy for the post of chancellor, soon left vacant by Angela Merkel. A page, sixteen uninterrupted years at the head of the largest European economy, is turning.
Three personalities claim the supreme chair: Armin Laschet, 59, the boss of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, Friedrich Merz, 65, a cripple of German politics and fierce opponent of the Chancellor, and finally Norbert Röttgen, 55 years old, Chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee. The results will be officially announced on January 22. In 2018, in order to prepare for her political exit, the Chancellor resigned from the presidency of the party by installing her runner-up, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, later appointed Minister of Defense, on a launching pad. Friedrich Merz was at the time the main victim of the operation – which turned out to be a fiasco.
After having accumulated blunders, the former president of the Saar was overwhelmed in the former GDR by the right-wing base of the CDU. Incapable of preventing the crisis, AKK was given a single mission: to organize his succession. Angela Merkel’s empire was in the process of dislocation and the ambitious CDU began to shoot the Chancellor.
The health crisis has completely changed the situation. Angela Merkel got back in the saddle, AKK’s interim was extended and the CDU pulled the chestnuts out of the fire without moving a finger. “When the Germans feel safe, they readily vote for the Greens, when the country is going through difficulties, they rely on the CDU “, philosopher Johannes Winkel, a youth leader of the CDU.
Hostile to the reception of additional refugees and close to the business community, Friedrich Merz is in favor of a change of bar to the right. Eager to bring home a small part of the CDU troops who, since that date, had turned to the AfD, he advocates a hardening of migration policies. He nevertheless rejects any idea of alliance with the extreme right. “Not a single millimeter will be shared with themHe repeats.
«We must provide new answers to new political questions, express our own convictions and formulate our own ideasHe pleaded recently before the Foreign Press Club. His desire for reforms seduced 41% of CDU members, according to the RTL barometer, a majority, rather masculine and aging, who readily accuses Angela Merkel of having numbed the party. But reformist as they are, many delegates are making their calculations in anticipation of the legislative elections in autumn 2021.
However, in the light of the federal election, the former leader of the controversial Black Rock Investment Fund has handicaps. Too divisive, he could hardly govern with the Greens, approached to form the next coalition. It could frighten a majority of Germans, seduced on the contrary by the centrism of Angela Merkel. This is the position rather defended by Norbert Röttgen and Armin Laschet. The latter forms a tandem with the young and ambitious Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, with a more conservative profile than his elder. Even if the leader of the Rhineland does not arouse the enthusiasm of the party, his candidacy could cast a wider net in September 2021. In the corridors of the CDU this is summed up by an aphorism: “The bait should taste like the fish, not the fisherman.»