Favorites for the CDU chairmanship: meeting, talking, forging alliances

Status: 01.11.2021 9:13 a.m.

Five men have ambitions for the CDU chairmanship. Now they are starting to explore among themselves which of them has the best chances – and who could cooperate. Apparently Merz, Spahn and Linnemann make the beginning.

The CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen assumes in his own words that the potential candidates for the party chairmanship will sound out the chances of an amicable solution in alternating rounds. According to the “Bild” newspaper, Friedrich Merz, Health Minister Jens Spahn and economic politician Carsten Linnemann will meet today, for example.

Röttgen said on Deutschlandfunk that he did not want to comment on this. Basically, however, the following applies: “The three will meet, but many more will meet.” In the afternoon, the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU MPs, to which the three named as well as Röttgen belong, would meet for a two-day conference. “It is clear that we are talking to each other,” said Röttgen, who is also considered a candidate for the chair. “Bild” went on to say that Merz wanted to bring Spahn into his team. There is no confirmation.

Norbert Röttgen, CDU, on the search for a new CDU board

Report from Berlin 6:05 p.m., October 31, 2021

Decision on procedure will probably be on Tuesday

On Saturday the CDU district chairmen voted with an overwhelming majority in favor of a member survey. It would be the first in the history of the party. In addition to Merz, Röttgen, Spahn and Linnemann, the Bundestag parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus is being traded as the successor to Armin Laschet.

The decision on the way to the chairmanship should be made in the meetings of the party committees this Tuesday. However, the party statute stipulates that the chairman is elected by a party congress – therefore a membership vote would still need the approval of a party congress. It is believed that Merz could have the greatest support from the party base.

In the most recent ARD Germany trend a relative majority of CDU supporters, at least 36 percent, spoke out in favor of him. Röttgen favored 25 percent, Spahn 14 percent, Linnemann nine percent and Brinkhaus six percent.

“Bring order to the shop”

Röttgen had yesterday in Report from Berlin emphasizes, the CDU has to reinvent itself after the election defeat and staff squabbles: “It is important that we bring order back to the store.” When asked whether he was running for party chairman, he did not want to answer directly. A procedure has been agreed that must first be carried out in an orderly manner. It is now important “that you listen to the base”. Only when all the specifications have been made should it be about personal details.

However, Röttgen indirectly recommended himself as party chairman: Because this is the center of the party – “and the center can only be the center,” said the foreign politician, who, unlike his competitor Merz, is an explicit representative of the center. This center, however, must be more modern and follow developments in society: “We have to re-anchor ourselves as a people’s party,” concluded Röttgen.

Röttgen admitted, however, that the CDU does not have infinite time to decide on the chairmanship – also because it will now have to do opposition work in the future. “We should have made the decision by the end of the year.”


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