SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

Merkel’s CDU to hold rank-and-file vote for new leader

Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) will pick their next leader through an unprecedented rank-and-file vote after a dismal result in September's election, party chiefs said Tuesday.

Friedrich Merz makes a speech
Possible contender Friedrich Merz makes a speech in Münster in October. Photo: dpa | Bernd Thissen

The new leader will be chosen by a vote among 400,000 CDU members before being formally elected at a congress on January 21 and 22 in Hanover, outgoing party chief Armin Laschet and general secretary Paul Ziemiak told a press conference in Berlin.

Previous leaders have been elected by a much smaller number of delegates at a party congress.

Laschet said it was “a good way to get the CDU off to a new start” after the party and the Bavarian CSU scored their worst election result since World War II in September’s vote.

The Social Democrats (SPD), who emerged as the biggest party, are in talks with the Greens and the liberal FDP to form a ruling coalition and hope to have a new government in place by early December.

No candidates have yet put themselves forward for the CDU leadership, but Friedrich Merz and Norbert Roettgen – who both ran against Laschet when he was elected party leader in early 2021 – are among those expected to run.

Merz is a veteran right-winger and longtime arch-rival of Merkel, while Roettgen is a foreign policy expert who sits nearer the centre of the party.

Health Minister Jens Spahn, who ran unsuccessfully for the leadership in 2018, is also thought to be a possible contender.

Merkel stood down as CDU leader in 2018 after a poor election performance for the party in the state of Hesse, but vowed to stay on as chancellor until 2021’s general election.

After 16 years in power, she will continue as acting chancellor until a new government is formed.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

UKRAINE

Germany’s Scholz says ‘consensus’ with Zelensky that Western arms do not hit Russia

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky agrees that weapons supplied by the West will not be used to attack Russian territory, Germany's leader said in an interview Sunday.

Germany's Scholz says 'consensus' with Zelensky that Western arms do not hit Russia

“There is a consensus on this point,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with the weekly Bild am Sonntag.

Ukraine’s Western allies have pledged to arm it with precision rockets and missile systems, as well as tanks, as it tries to push back Russian troops in its east.

READ ALSO: Germany authorises manufacturers to send Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared the intervention of countries such as Germany with his nation’s struggle during World War II.

“Again and again we are forced to repel the aggression of the collective West,” he said Thursday on the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad.

But Scholz rejected the comparison.

“His words are part of a series of absurd historical comparisons that he uses to justify his attack on Ukraine”, he said.

“But nothing justifies this war.

“Together with our allies, we are supplying battle tanks to Ukraine so that it can defend itself. We have carefully weighed each delivery of weapons, in close coordination with our allies, starting with America.”

He said that such a consensus-based approach “avoids an escalation”.

READ ALSO: Germany won’t send fighter jets to Ukraine, says Scholz

SHOW COMMENTS