In the 2019 European Parliament elections, the Greens—who are pro-Europe and pro-immigrant—had a groundbreaking surge, gaining the second largest number of votes in Germany. Read: German Chancellor Merkel Thanks German People For Virus Sacrifices. Within the CDU, there’s a split on whether the party should be moving back to the right and if so, whether they should be doing it on economic or cultural issues. If that is the yardstick, then Laschet represents the least risk.". In the many crises during her long term in office, she has been seen by many as solid as a rock — be it during what was described as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression or the current coronavirus pandemic. Norbert Laschet recently asked CDU members: "The answer is: no!" Three men on a mission: Norbert Röttgen, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz all want to lead the CDU. AKK’s resignation, as well as the CDU’s decision to cooperate with the AfD in Thuringia, has exposed weak spots in the party, sparking questions about how the CDU should navigate an increasingly polarized political landscape. EMBARGO - UNTIL DEC. 31 00:00 A.M. CET - FREE FOR THURSDAY DEC. 31, 2020 NEWSPAPERS - German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses for photographs after the television recording of her annual New Year's speech at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany… Laschet is the only one of the three currently in a front-line government office. This article has been translated from German. While the candidates undoubtedly have much in common, there are significant differences. She has […] According to Uwe Jun, a political scientist at the University of Trier: "Merz above all stands for the recognizability of the party, Laschet for centrist electability, Röttgen for renewal. AKK, who currently serves the Minister of Defense, became the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) at the end of 2018. support for the chancellor during the refugee crisis. All see themselves as centrist politicians, firmly rooted in the middle ground of German politics. Kundnani, however, argues that centrist parties losing power may ultimately be good for German democracy. After Germany’s recent state government elections in Hesse, in which the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered double-digit losses, German media proclaimed the results amounted to a Denkzettel for Merkel. But observers wonder: Would he stick to that line, if and when the CDU offered to back him for the chancellery? We use cookies to improve our service for you. GERMANY, January 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Twitter for shutting down President Trump’s … Merz concedes that the chancellor's calm and steady handling of the coronavirus crisis has boosted the CDU's standing in the polls. Norbert Röttgen, a high-profile foreign policy specialist, wants Germany to take on more responsibility both in Europe and further afield: "We are the international party, the European party, the trans-Atlantic party. Polls put him at around 30% with Röttgen and Laschet both trailing at around 25% of CDU voters. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Germany’s Merkel: Trump’s Twitter eviction ‘problematic’ January 11, 2021 GMT FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2020 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses for photographs after the television recording of her annual New Year's speech at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Armin Laschet, for instance, styles himself as a proponent of social justice, but also of law and order. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party on Saturday chose Armin Laschet, the pragmatic governor of Germany’s most populous state, as … Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German politician serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005. Each is hoping to replace the luckless Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer after her chequered interlude at the helm of the party. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. German voters go to the polls this fall in national parliamentary elections of momentous proportions. Germany’s Angela Merkel has said she will step down as chancellor in 2021, following recent election setbacks. particularly on social issues such as gay marriage, political landscape in Germany is likely to grow more fragmented, growing sway of the AfD in German politics, A Far Right Scandal Pushed Merkel's Successor to Resign. “I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends,” she told a news conference in Berlin. Please try again later. It also raises concerns about who will fill Merkel’s shoes when she steps down in October and whether a power vacuum will form in her absence. Merz narrowly lost out to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in an earlier vote, two years ago, when delegates decided who would replace Angela Merkel at the head of the party. The virtual CDU party conference this weekend will not officially decide on who replaces the chancellor. But her party is in the box seat for next … “The AfD came along and said: there is an alternative we are that alternative,” Kundnani said. Merkel is currently married to Joachim Sauer, a quantum chemist. Here is why AKK’s resignation matters and what it means for Germany moving forward. The 40-year-old is younger and openly gay, a profile that could help the CDU to forge a new and more inclusive image for the party. They married in 1998. Who will replace Angela Merkel? AKK is also more conservative than Merkel, particularly on social issues such as gay marriage, which has tempered Merkel’s willingness to support her. It has been widely noted that the three candidates have a lot in common: all are family men, they are Catholic, and hail from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the most populous of Germany's 16 federal states. After all, none of the three candidates is ahead in national polls on who German voters as a whole want to see as their new chancellor. The successful candidate might replace Chancellor Angela Merkel after elections this fall. In 2018, she resigned as the leader of the CDU and announced that she would not run in the next election. The AfD was founded in 2013 by economic conservatives, initially in response to the eurozone economic crisis. Experts say the incident in Thuringia reflects the growing sway of the AfD in German politics and also sheds light on the diminishing power of centrist coalitions in Germany. Observers are quick to point to his seemingly unquestioning support for the chancellor during the refugee crisis and his backing for her efforts to shift the party further to the left of the political spectrum. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. Currently, Friedrich Merz appears to have taken the lead. All Rights Reserved. Friedrich Merz, meanwhile, is widely viewed as a voice of business and finance and an advocate of traditional conservativism, whose supporters hope will win back voters from the AfD. That makes it unclear how the CDU should position itself on the German political spectrum. Rarely has the cliché rung so true: whoever succeeds Frau Merkel will be stepping into some very big shoes. He adds, “there is quite a positive scenario here which is that you go back to something like left-right politics in Germany again with genuine alternatives between the center-right and the center-left.”, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (r, CDU), Federal Minister of Defence and CDU Federal Chairwoman, are talking at the beginning of the session of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. Backstory: Röttgen served as German environment minister from 2009 until 2012, when he was fired by Merkel after his unsuccessful bid to become premier of North Rhine-Westphalia. AKK’s resignation has shed light on a changing political landscape in Germany, where radical parties are increasingly gaining traction in a country where for years, centrist coalitions have held power. ", But what is it that the party most needs? What will define Germany in 2021? It is all relative, he says, and it all depends on where you stand: "The CDU has always seen itself as an election-winning party of government. It was widely speculated that AKK—sometimes nicknamed “mini-Merkel“—would become Germany’s next Chancellor in the 2021 elections. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. ANI 16th January 2021, 17:18 GMT+11 Berlin [Germany], January 16 (ANI): The ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) will elect a new chairman on Saturday who they hope can succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor when she steps down after federal elections in September this year. ... Read Next. Jens Thurau takes a closer look at what this shift means. All three candidates are promising to speed up the process of digitalization in Germany and step up measures to combat climate change while, at the same time, making sure that the economy remains robust. Amid periods of economic turbulence, Merkel has also managed to keep Germany’s economy afloat, making it one of the strongest economies in Europe. The fact is: whoever wins Saturday's vote, still has a long way to go to become the next German leader. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer after her chequered interlude at the helm of the party. After Merkel stepped down as the chair of the CDU in 2018, she was replaced by Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. She also said she would not seek re-election as leader of the centre-right CDU party in December. A digital conference of 1,001 delegates will elect the new … Dec 11, 2020 Josef Joffe. In 2018 Health Minister Jens Spahn (l) ran for party leader against Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Friedrich Merz. No surprise, therefore, that Merkel has let it be known that Laschet is her preferred candidate. While Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s doors to refugees in 2015 was lauded internationally, where Merkel was seen as a human rights champion, the decision led to significant backlash domestically. When Merkel accepted 1 million mostly-Syrian refugees in 2015, however, the AfD shifted its focus, adopting an anti-immigrant and anti-Islam platform. The CDU has struggled to gain support in state election… The fight against the coronavirus pandemic? This time around, he is again pushing for a major shake-up within the CDU. Please attempt to sign up again. Germany's largest political party — the chancellor's Christian Democrats — are set to elect a new chairman – and it will definitely be a man. Merkel denounced the alliance, calling it “unforgivable.” She said that “you don’t win majorities with the help of Alternative für Deutschland,” calling it a “fundamental conviction” of hers and the CDU. “I think part of the reason she fell is because she just wasn’t very popular,” says Hans Kundnani, author of The Paradox of German Power, and a senior research fellow at Chatham House. He has already called on the party to step out of Angela Merkel's shadow. ", Send Facebook Twitter reddit EMail Facebook Messenger Web Whatsapp Web Telegram linkedin. Legal notice | “The question isn’t ‘can we go into a coalition with them but how can we cooperate with them’,” Kundnani says. Merz has never had a government post. House Dems introduce article of impeachment against Trump It marked a violation of CDU policy. Health Minister Jens Spahn still officially supports Laschet's candidacy and has teamed up with him as his deputy. “They were looking for an alternative.”. Or is it more Merkel, without Merkel? Whoever wins the race will also be the odds-on favorite to become Germany’s next chancellor. © 2021 Deutsche Welle | Her decision to step down came after a controversial local election on Feb. 6 that led members of her party in the tiny eastern state of Thuringia to elect—against her wishes—to work with the Alternative for Deutschland (AfD), a far-right, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam party. It’s been a shaky week in German politics after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handpicked successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (also known as AKK), resigned as leader of the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) on Monday. “The battle that is now being played out is how far back to the right the CDU should move.”. The CDU has struggled to gain support in state elections, where parties on the right and left have swayed voters. Another potential candidate waiting in the wings does not even belong to the CDU: Markus Söder is the state premier of Bavaria and head of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of the CDU. "Are we representative of society as a whole?" AKK was supposed to be Merkel’s successor, who would bring her centrist legacy and vision into the next decade of German politics. CDU Party election . A digital conference of 1,001 delegates will elect the new leader of the ruling conservative CDU this weekend. But the issue of who has the most experience in elected office does not appear to be either playing out in Laschet's favor or significantly damaging the prospects of the others. Here's How That Could Change Germany's Political Future. Contact “There is too much consensus which in turn produces these extremist movements because it pushes political opposition to the extremes.”, Kundnani argues that the rise of anti-establishment movements on the right and left may give voters more choice. Is it renewal? Laschet is the only one of the three currently in a front-line government office. German Chancellor Angela Merkel Getty Images. Which explains why all three candidates are focusing on persuading more young voters, more women, and more people from Germany's immigrant communities to join party ranks. “Since Merkel came to power in 2005, the problem hasn’t been too much polarization—which is what you have in the U.S.—but not enough,” he says. Getty—Kay Nietfeld, Read Donald Trump's Full Inauguration Speech, How mRNA Tech Gave Us the 1st COVID-19 Vaccines. AKK, who currently serves the Minister of Defense, became the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) at the end of 2018. But, he adds: "We won't be elected on September 26 out of gratitude for what we've achieved in the past but on the basis of expectations and hopes for the future. The CDU is scheduled to hold an election this month to decide the next party chairperson, a position that had fallen vacant since current Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer resigned in February 2020. At the time, Merkel advocated for bailing out Greece, maintaining that there was no other alternative. BERLIN — Germany’s largest political party will choose a new leader on Saturday, with the winner well positioned to succeed Angela Merkel as the next chancellor … It wasn’t an anti-immigrant party.”. On Feb. 6, the CDU voted with the AfD to elect a pro-business Free Democrat as state premier in the central-eastern state of Thuringia, pushing aside the more popular left-wing leade and breaking CDU policy of refusing to work with the AfD. They are all at pains to draw a line between themselves and both the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) on the one side and the Left party on the other side of the poltical spectrum. Throughout her tenure, Merkel has positioned Germany as an important leader within the European Union as well as on the international stage. BERLIN — Germany’s largest political party will choose a new leader on Saturday, with the winner well positioned to succeed Angela Merkel as the next chancellor of Europe’s leading economy.Regardle… Merkel, now 66, has been a mainstay of politics dominating Germany, and often the European Union (EU), since 2005. All three contenders must somehow distinguish themselves from their rivals while boldly campaigning for continuity. "If we want to have any chance of remaining a broad-based big-tent party," says Laschet, "then we must win the backing of immigrant communities.". “At that time, it was about economics. In a line-up of world leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is inescapably the odd one out. Alert: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party has chosen Armin Laschet as its new leader Published 4:31 am CST, Saturday, January 16, 2021 While the CDU grapples with how to deal with the AfD, the party is also losing votes to the leftist Green party. BERLIN (BLOOMBERG) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn is considering a run to take over from Dr Angela Merkel as chancellor, as competition to succeed her after September's election heats up. And among the general voting public in Germany, Röttgen actually seems to be pulling away from Laschet. By the time the vote takes place, Chancellor Angela Merkel will likely have served 16 years in office as head of the German government. And for his part, Röttgen was spectacularly ousted from office as Germany's environment minister back in 2012 by none other than Angela Merkel. Denkzettel is one of those curious compound nouns that make the German language what it is.It literally means “think note,” but what it amounts to is a … But whoever is elected as CDU leader moves into pole position to becoming German chancellor, if the CDU/CSU again emerges as the strongest political party after September's vote. He's clocking 55% in the polls and an astonishing 80% among conservative voters across the country. | Mobile version. The new CDU leader will be elected by 1,001 delegates at a digital congress, with four potential candidate: Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz, Norbert Roettgen and Jens Spahn. It was widely speculated that AKK—sometimes nicknamed “mini-Merkel“—would become Germany’s next Chancellor in the 2021 elections.