CDU member survey: Basis should decide on party chairmanship

Status: 10/30/2021 6:11 p.m.

Nobody has officially claimed the successor to CDU party leader Laschet. The district chairmen have now voted with a large majority in favor of a member survey on the future party chairmanship.

After the severe defeat in the federal election, the CDU lets its 400,000 members vote for the first time on who should lead the party in the future. “Today is the first day of the renewal of the CDU,” said Secretary General Paul Ziemiak in Berlin. “Today we are opening a new chapter, a new chapter in membership participation.”

Previously, a district chairman conference of the CDU had clearly spoken out in favor of a member survey for the successor to party leader Armin Laschet. “The majority in the mood there in the hall was overwhelming,” said Ziemiak. The dual leadership also discussed in the party, however, was “not a big issue”.

Party congress should choose new CDU leadership

The CDU had invited its 326 district and 27 district chairmen to Berlin to deal with the historically poor result of the federal election and to discuss the procedure for electing the new party leadership. The conference itself was only able to obtain a picture of its opinion and not make any binding decisions. These are to be taken at special meetings of the Presidium and the Federal Executive Board. A special party congress should also elect the entire management team from the Presidium and the Federal Executive Board by the beginning of 2022 at the latest.

According to current law, the election of the chairman must take place at a party congress. The party is relying on the previous vote of the members at this party congress “will be accepted and respected,” said Ziemiak.

Junge Union welcomes member survey

The Chairman of the Junge Union, Tilman Kuban, welcomed the decision. “This is a correct and important signal that the Junge Union has long wanted.” His organization had already requested such a member survey in 2019. “We are on the right track to have a motivated party base and to take this motivation with us into the new beginning.” Kuban went on to say: “If you don’t trust your members, you can’t win the trust of voters. And I believe that our members are smarter than some people think.”

The district chairmen had the feeling that “they have been standing in front of the door for these decisions in the last two years,” said the former CDU state chairman in Thuringia, Mike Mohring. “And that’s why you have to do it now. Anything else would have been self-destruction today.”

Merz and Röttgen as potential candidates

The vote of the district chairpersons conference was also welcomed by two potential candidates for the chairmanship. “The Presidium and the federal executive should follow the clear vote on Tuesday and initiate a member survey if there is more than one candidate,” wrote the former parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz on Twitter.

The CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen tweeted: “I can understand this decision and I welcome the fact that our members are part of the new beginning of the CDU in this way. The Presidium & Board of Directors should respect that!”

Merkel is staying out of it

The outgoing Chancellor and former CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel said she did not want to take part in the analysis of the results and in the discussion about the realignment. “As someone who has left active politics, I will not interfere in these debates,” Merkel told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. The future of the CDU will now be determined by others.

The outgoing party leader Laschet said at the conference according to participant information and with a view to the member survey that all candidates for the top position should then also accept the results at a federal party conference. So far it has been speculated that in addition to Merz and Röttgen, Jens Spahn also wants to become CDU boss. Ralph Brinkhaus and Carsten Linnemann are also traded as possible candidates. However, none of them has officially declared a candidacy so far.

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