The candidate for the CDU presidency, friedrich merz, has reacted with sharp criticism to the decision of the party leadership to postpone a decision on the party presidency until the new year.
The cancellation of the election party conference in december, decided on monday by the party executive, was "the last part of the action to prevent merz" in the CDU". "And this is going on with the full broadside of the establishment in berlin", merz told "welt".
The former union faction leader added: "i have very clear, unambiguous indications that armin laschet has issued the motto: he needs more time to improve his performance. I also clearly lead in all polls. If it were otherwise, there would certainly have been a choice this year."
Merz had campaigned for a clarification of the leadership question at a presidential party conference before the end of the year. If a presence party congress is not possible, it could take place as a digital party congress. "And it can also be concluded with an election," he said on ARD’s "morgenmagazin" television program. Should it also not take place digitally, this can no longer be justified with corona.
The CDU had once again postponed the decision on a new party chairman because of the corona crisis – possibly until spring. The union thus enters the 2021 super-election year without a candidate for chancellor, an unprecedented process.
The federal executive board decided on monday in berlin that the planned party conference on january 4. The party is no longer able to hold its meeting in stuttgart on december with 1001 delegates in view of the sharp rise in the number of infections. If a presidential party conference is not possible at the beginning of the new year, a digital party conference should be held. And if there is still no legal basis for this, there should be a digital party conference with a round of introductions and a subsequent election.
What is interesting here is the procedure: the federal executive committee, which is responsible for such a decision, is to discuss the corona situation at its last regular meeting before the christmas break on 14. Re-evaluate december and, if possible, make a decision by then. Otherwise, he is expected to meet with the CDU at its annual kick-off meeting on 15 march. And 16. January decide. If an election were to take place, a decision on the new chairman – in the super-election year 2021 – might not be foreseeable until the end of march, i.E. After the difficult state elections in baden-wurttemberg and rhineland-palatinate for the CDU.
CDU secretary-general paul ziemiak said that in the event of a brieahl, one could assume 70 days to appoint a new chairman and a complete executive board. Candidates were introduced in a digital format, then letters were sent out – delegates had time to fill out and return the ballot paper. Then it could come down to a runoff election. The executive board did not see the snap election as the best solution, especially since the CDU would then have to deal with itself for 70 days.
Merz’s sharpest opponent, NRW minister president armin laschet, had already argued over the weekend that the party conference should be postponed until next year. Unlike merz and the third promising candidate for the CDU presidency, the election expert norbert rottgen, laschet is part of the CDU’s closest leadership. The CDU vice may also have been meant by the term "party establishment. And as a general rule, whoever becomes the new CDU leader will also have first dibs on the CDU/CSU’s chancellor candidacy.
Rottgen, meanwhile, described the renewed postponement of the election party conference as bitter, but buried it in principle. With the decision of the CDU executive board, the CDU would do justice to its responsibility in the pandemic and at the same time secure its ability to act in the election year.
Laschet told dpa that by postponing its party congress, the CDU was living up to its overall social responsibility. "We need now nationwide common mabs to drastically reduce the new infections."Laschet, who is also CDU vice president, went on to say: "this week will be decisive in the fight against the corona pandemic."
Chancellor angela merkel (CDU) will again discuss pandemic measures with minister presidents in a video conference this wednesday. At the end of the week, the prime ministers of the countries will hold a video conference to discuss the pandemic situation.
Saxony’s minister president michael kretschmer (CDU) considers a decision on the CDU presidency to be conceivable only after easter 2021 because of the corona crisis. The country has other things to worry about in the next few months than the election of a new CDU chairman, he told the "rheinische post" (tuesday). "We are facing very difficult decisions in germany. We have not been able to calm the corona situation."
According to CDU leader annegret kramp-karrenbauer, the election was not supposed to take place until 15 may. And 16. The current infectious disease situation will be discussed at the january meeting of the federal executive board, and the situation will then be assessed. The question was whether and when it would be possible to hold a party conference in prasenz. The chairman of the young union, tilman kuban, negotiated his way into the decision, supported by the middle class association – probably in the spirit of merz – that the 14. December to play a coarser role after all in a kind of phased plan for the next party conference.