News Merz ahead in the Chancellor Question

Merz ahead in the Chancellor Question

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The CDU is rearranging – and Friedrich Merz supposedly wants to be at the top. According to a new survey, his chances as a potential candidate for chancellor are not bad. All information in the news blog.

The previous CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to withdraw from her office and also refrain from running for office as chancellor for the Union. But she wanted to remain at the head of the party until a candidate for chancellor of the Union was determined. Critics had previously criticized their lack of leadership. The trigger was the election of the FDP man Thomas Kemmerich to the office of the Thuringian Prime Minister with votes from the AfD.

Friday, February 14, 1 a.m .: Spahn calls for CDU emancipation from Merkel

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) has spoken out in favor of emancipation from the Chancellor and long-time party leader Angela Merkel. After many years that had been shaped by Merkel, “the CDU must now learn to walk again”, Spahn told the “Spiegel”. The party needed a future line-up that no longer focused on the Chancellor. “We cannot avoid this challenge,” said Spahn, who is considered a possible candidate for the position of CDU chairman.

The minister also called for a shift in power from the Chancellery to the CDU party headquarters. In the new personnel constellation “a clearly defined mode between party headquarters and chancellery will be important,” he told Spiegel. He had “great respect and gratitude for what Angela Merkel has done for Germany and the party”. But now we have to look ahead. It is about shaping the 20s.

Spahn emphasized that the party needed a reconciler at the top “who did not split the party, but united”. It is about the existence of the CDU. A candidate for a fight at the congress was not the right way to choose the new chairman. “Our members expect everyone to act responsibly and in a team.”

February 13, 11:36 pm: Merz in front on the Chancellor question

According to a current survey, Friedrich Merz is currently the most promising candidate for chancellor in the Union. According to the ARD Germany trend, 40 percent of those questioned believe that the 64-year-old would be a good candidate for chancellor. However, 42 percent disagree.

Bavaria’s prime minister and CSU chief Markus Söder found 31 percent to be a suitable candidate for chancellor. NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet has 30 percent. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn believes one in four (24 percent) is a good candidate for Chancellor.

If it were a federal election on Sunday, 26 percent of the CDU / CSU would vote. That is 1 percentage point less than in the previous week. The SPD would come to 16 percent (+2), the AfD unchanged to 14 percent. The FDP would be 7 percent (-1) and the left would continue to be 9 percent. The Greens remained unchanged at 22 percent.

19:53: Merz distances itself from a union of values

Former Union faction leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) has distanced itself from the right-wing conservative union of values. Merz said on Thursday evening at a medium-sized business forum in Berlin: “It would be good if this union of values ​​did not even exist.” He does not find it very sympathetic what comes from this side. Merz also spoke of a cry for help that certain issues would no longer be discussed as some groups in the Union wished.

The Union of Values ​​was founded almost three years ago, initially as a “freedom-conservative awakening” and above all as a reaction to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s (CDU) refugee policy. The conservative group claims to have more than 4,000 members.

At the event, Merz indirectly confirmed his willingness to run for the CDU chair. He was ready to take responsibility. However, Merz did not respond directly to the moderator’s specific request as to whether he would run for the party chair and the chancellor candidacy. Those who are ready to assume responsibility should now have a few days to discuss the future structure. At the same time, he emphasized that CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was right with the view that party presidency and chancellorship belonged in one hand.

3 p.m .: Stephan Weil warns of the end of the GroKo

In the event of early withdrawal of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil sees the continued existence of the grand coalition at risk. “The SPD will certainly not take part in a change at the top of the government,” the socialist told the “Handelsblatt”. The grand coalition was “linked to the person of the Chancellor”. Merkel contributed to the fact that the coalition could even come about.

When announcing her retirement, CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had identified the separation of the chancellorship and party leadership as a problem. It is therefore speculated that a candidate for Union chancellor could seek an early change at the top of the government.

Weil warned of a “phase of uncertainty”. The coalition in Berlin is facing major tasks such as climate protection and the energy transition. “These plans must now also be followed up by action. We cannot afford political instability in this area,” said the SPD politician, who is also leading a large coalition in Hanover. “That would be extremely damaging for the German industry, which is undergoing major changes.”

12 noon: JU boss has young Union members vote on candidates for chancellor

According to its chairman Tilman Kuban, the Young Union (JU) will determine who it wants to support as a candidate for Union chancellor through a member survey. “We will conduct an internal survey, I promised that I would like to involve the members more,” said the head of the CDU and CSU youth organization in the RTL / ntv program “Frühstart”. The survey should produce a picture of the mood of the young generation of the Union, only then would the JU publicly stand behind one of the possible candidates.

Kuban said that he personally has a close connection to Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). “The fact that we are friends and that I trust him a lot, politically speaking, is certainly the case.” Spahn is one of several possible candidates for the CDU chairmanship and chancellor candidacy – alongside the former Union faction leader Friedrich Merz and the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet.

9 a.m .: Merz: No need for hectic pace

Friedrich Merz warned in the race for the CDU party chairmanship and the chancellor candidacy of the Union a quiet procedure. “We have to talk to each other in peace,” he told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. There is no reason to bring hectic into it.

It was announced on Wednesday that Merz is aiming for party chairmanship after Announcement of the CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The dpa news agency had learned this from its closest surroundings. Merz was determined to run, knew the party base behind him and felt encouraged by current polls.

3 a.m .: CDU Vice Strobl calls for close coordination with CSU in search of chairman

CDU deputy party leader Thomas Strobl has called for “close coordination” with the CSU in the search for the candidate for chancellor and new party leader. The Christian Democrats would have to “find an orderly procedure for these decisions within the CDU and together with the sister CSU,” the Baden-Württemberg CDU state chief told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Strobl described it as “great merit” of the CDU chairman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and CSU boss Markus Söder, “that we have a relationship between the sisters of the Union that is what you would want in a good family”. Therefore, the process of searching for the CDU leader and candidate for chancellor must also be well coordinated with the CSU.

As of next week, Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to hold talks with potential successors, as AFP learned from party circles.

Wednesday, February 13, 11:20 p.m .: Kramp-Karrenbauer curbs expectations of quick personnel decisions

Party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has dampened expectations of a quick decision. It was only on Wednesday evening from the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus in Berlin that the clarity could be clarified after the end of their talks with those interested in the party presidency and the candidature for chancellor. Kramp-Karrenbauer and CSU boss Markus Söder are in constant contact on these issues.

On February 24 – Shrove Monday and the day after the general election in Hamburg – it was a regular meeting of the party presidium, it said. There Kramp-Karrenbauer will inform about the current status of the developments.

At the same time, the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus was reminded that Kramp-Karrenbauer had announced at the meeting of the Presidium on Monday that she wanted to advance the process of finding a new party leader by summer. As soon as a successor was found, she would hand over the party presidency immediately. Leading members of the Presidium had asked Kramp-Karrenbauer not to give an appointment for the election of a new party chairman in order not to build up time pressure. You agreed to this request for the good of the party. This was the express request of the Presidium, not the idea of ​​her, it was said.

At the beginning of the year, the regular election party conference was scheduled for the 4th to 6th December in Stuttgart. Of course, a new party congress could also be elected by another party congress before December, the government said. How and where this can take place has not yet been scheduled.

19:33: circles: Laschet wants a friendly solution to the personnel issues

NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet continues to opt for a friendly solution in the current personnel debate, even after the announcement of a candidacy by ex-Union faction leader Friedrich Merz for the CDU chairmanship. The German press agency learned from circles of the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU that Laschet was supporting the party-agreed path in the personnel discussion, which the Bundestag faction was also behind.

Presidium and federal executive board of the CDU had unanimously agreed that the party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was holding talks with the aim of a friendly solution in the interest of the Union, according to the circles of the NRW-CDU. For Laschet, the cohesion of the Union was important, especially after the events in Thuringia.

The dpa had previously learned from the Merz area that he was determined to run for the CDU chairmanship. Merz knows the party base behind him and feels encouraged by current polls. Speculations that he would be willing to become Minister of Economy under a possible party leader and Chancellor Laschet are a theoretical scenario, according to the Merz environment. Possible positions could not yet be distributed.

2:24 pm: Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to talk about the K question next week

The outgoing CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to talk to interested parties next week about her successor and the candidacy for chancellor. A corresponding report by the “Rheinische Post” was confirmed to the German press agency on Wednesday from CDU circles. There is no exact date yet. In addition to North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet, ex-faction leader Friedrich Merz and Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn are potential candidates.

According to this information, it was considered likely that Kramp-Karrenbauer would meet CSU boss Markus Söder at the weekend at the Munich Security Conference. But there is no specific date yet.

For the election of the party leader and for the determination of the candidate for chancellor, a timely special party congress is therefore envisaged. A decision by the CDU federal executive board is necessary to convene a party convention. The panel will meet for its next regular meeting on February 24th, Rose Monday.

10 a.m .: NATO meeting in Brussels – Kramp-Karrenbauer concentrates on her tasks as Minister of Defense

NATO defense ministers are discussing the future of their currently suspended training mission in Iraq this Wednesday. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had recently stressed that the military alliance could be more involved in the fight against terror in Iraq. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) is also expected to attend the two-day meeting. It is her first public appearance abroad since she announced her resignation from the CDU chairmanship on Monday.

NATO’s current Iraq mission has been running since October 2018. It is intended to enable the Iraqi armed forces to prevent IS from resurging. To this end, several hundred instructors train Iraqi military instructors and help build military schools. In addition to the capital region of Baghdad, the military complex in Taji was selected as the training location. The Bundeswehr is not involved in the NATO mission.

At the beginning of January, NATO pulled some of its soldiers out of Iraq because of the tensions in the region. Shortly before, the military alliance had decided to initially suspend daily training work. The NATO mission is expected to resume operations shortly. The international military coalition led by the USA, in which the Bundeswehr is involved, has temporarily suspended its support in the fight against IS.

5 a.m .: SPD only wants to continue to govern with Merkel as chancellor

The SPD ties the continued existence of the grand coalition to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). “Angela Merkel is the incumbent chancellor. We went with her into this coalition. And with her we will also leave this coalition – regularly for the next election date,” said SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil to the editorial network Germany. “We want to continue working together with the Union in the federal government. This government is elected until autumn 2021,” said the SPD politician.

After the announced withdrawal of CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Klingbeil emphasized that it was not a problem for reliable cooperation in the grand coalition that there should be a change in party leadership at the CDU. “We also experienced that in the SPD – and yet we continued to govern well.” But he added: “Whether the CDU is reliable can be seen in its stance to the right. The CDU has to distinguish itself from its internal AfD fan club, the Union of Values.”

He assumes that the Union is aware of its responsibility and “does not get lost now, even with a view to the EU Council Presidency”. In the second half of the year, Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency.

Tuesday, February 11, 6:27 pm: Merkel calls on Union to “hold the shop together”

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has called on the Union to agree after the announcement of the withdrawal of CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and in view of the directional debate. After 14 years of government, it was not natural that the Union would be back in government after the next election, Merkel warned on Tuesday, according to participants in the Union faction in the Bundestag.

In view of the alternatives, everyone in the Union was asked “to hold the shop together, to develop concepts for the future and to really bring a democratically governed Germany that knows its size and middle” to the front, applauded Merkel with applause. Merkel therefore admitted that it was “extremely difficult to keep things together, from the social wing to those who consider themselves to be conservative in value, from the economic wing to those who may be more ecological”. This was also not easy in the past.

Merkel asked the deputies with a view to Kramp-Karrenbauer: “Supports Annegret to continue on this path, programmatically, but also to master the personnel management constellation. So that we are a strong union in which all wings really have their home.” Then the Union would have every chance to rule again after 2021.

2:59 p.m .: CSU urges participation in chancellor candidacy

After Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation from chancellor candidacy and CDU chairmanship, CSU general secretary Markus Blume urges his party to have a say in the free program of the next candidate for chancellor. At the same time, he demanded that the personnel decisions should always be clarified before the summer break.

There are two open questions: First, the CDU must clarify the question of party leadership, said Blume in the state parliament in Munich. “Afterwards we will work together in the Union, CDU and CSU to clarify the question of the candidacy for Chancellor.” The CDU had to clarify one question alone, the other questions “had to be decided jointly by the CDU and CSU,” he emphasized.

“It is important for us that this should not be a hanging game for months, but must actually be tackled quickly now. Self-employment over a long period of time automatically leads downwards,” said Blume. There should be no self-employment “until the summer break or even beyond,” he emphasized.

12.15 p.m .: FDP – AKK must now concentrate on the Bundeswehr

The FDP has asked Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to concentrate on the Bundeswehr after the announced withdrawal from the CDU leadership. “We always said that leading the ministry and the CDU together is too much. Now AKK has time for the troops,” said FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann in Berlin on Tuesday. “The troop needs stability. And must not suffer from the political situation or become a game ball for it,” she said. The FDP “will not open a barrel, but will continue to be constructive opposition”.

11.45 a.m .: Dobrindt calls the CDU timetable to solve the leadership question “absurd”

CSU country group leader Alexander Dobrindt has asked for a quick solution to the CDU leadership question. The schedule in the room at the CDU, which provides for a solution over several months, is idealistic, absurd and with no chance of implementation, said Dobrindt in Berlin. “Crisis-prone situations are not dealt with by celebrating the crisis, but by acting.”

The CDU must now decide whether it has the strength to renew itself, Dobrindt demanded. The CSU wanted to quickly establish stability within the Union family. No long beauty contest is necessary. It is a question of personnel clarity to find a person who can awaken positive imaginations for the future for the Union.

The question of how to do in the 2021 election year depends very much on how to get out of 2020. That is why it is now so important to make a decision in order to be able to govern stably. The longer the CDU’s finding phase lasted, the more malicious the comments of political competitors would be.

Dobrindt also believes that a separate personnel solution between the Chancellery and the party presidency is conceivable. Both variants – separating the offices and bringing them back together – would have a good chance that they would work. This depends very much on “that you have to want it in the end”.

Dobrindt said that the Union had no problem with the demarcation from the AfD or the Left Party. As a political force in the center, there are clear boundaries to the right and left. He vehemently rejected statements by SPD deputy Kevin Kühnert, who had said on ZDF in this connection that the Union parties should take the time to decide whether “they can still maintain a basic consensus that has applied to this party for decades “.

10.18 am: Spokesman – Merz coordinates “with everyone involved” on the role in the CDU

Former Union faction leader Friedrich Merz, who is considered to be the next CDU leader and candidate for chancellor, apparently wants to coordinate with other potential applicants. “Friedrich Merz will of course coordinate with everyone involved and speak in due course,” said Merz’s spokesman Armin Peter on Tuesday at the AFP news agency. The “Focus” had previously reported that Merz was already in talks with Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn and NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet about the future CDU leadership.

It was initially unclear when Merz would comment on his plans. “Until then, we don’t want to participate in speculation,” said his spokesman.

Monday, February 10, 8:08 p.m .: This is what the press says about the resignation of the CDU leader

Read an overview of the reactions in the editorial offices HERE,

6.41 p.m .: CSU boss Söder rejects candidate for chancellor

CSU chief Markus Söder rejects a candidacy for chancellor. “My location and anchor are in Bavaria, and I have my word with the Bavarian voters,” he told Bayerischer Rundfunk. Söder calls for a decision on the Union’s candidate for chancellor “earlier than during the year”. He also insists that the CSU should have a say in the free skating of the candidate.

18:34: Poll: Majority of Germans welcomes withdrawal

According to a survey, a large majority of German citizens approve of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s withdrawal. The CDU leader had surprisingly said on Monday that she would not be the Union’s candidate for chancellor and would also give up the party chairmanship. 77 percent of the respondents are in favor of the initiative, according to a survey carried out by the polling institute Forsa on behalf of the RTL / ntv editorial team on Monday. That applies equally to the supporters of the Union parties.

17:14: Merz or Spahn: SPD boss has a favorite

When asked whether he had a preference for one of the two CDU politicians Jens Spahn or Friedrich Merz, the SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans gave a clear answer. At the dpa chief editorial conference in Berlin, he said: “If I weigh everything up, more like Spahn. I know Merz too well for that.”

5 p.m .: How Merz imagines the CDU of the future

Friedrich Merz was once Kramp-Karrenbauer’s competitor in the race for party leadership. Now he offers support in the search for a successor and warns prudence. How he envisions the CDU in the future was a little over a week ago outlined in an interview with t-online.de,

In the Bundestag election next year, he believed the Union had a potential of “at least 35 percent of the vote,” said Merz in the interview. He sees the Greens as the Union’s greatest rival. Collaboration? Not excluded. However, Merz defines a limit: “wherever the foundations of our industrial society are questioned”.

4:44 p.m .: Thuringian AfD hopes for the CDU rapprochement among AKK successors

The Thuringian AfD parliamentary group hopes that the CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will move closer to the Christian Democrats. “Of course, we hope that this will open the CDU towards our party,” said parliamentary manager of the parliamentary group, Torben Braga, on Monday in Erfurt. Kramp-Karrenbauer have always differentiated themselves from the AfD. She had surprisingly announced her withdrawal from the CDU leadership on Monday.

At the same time, Braga announced that his parliamentary group would discuss next week whether it would make its own candidate for another prime ministerial election. That has not yet been finally decided. Braga ruled out that the AfD faction could vote for Ramelow in a new election of the head of government to put him in trouble.

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4:18 pm: Junge Union Hessen wants membership survey for AKK successor

The Young Union (JU) in Hesse is demanding a membership survey on its successor after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the CDU leader, has announced that she will withdraw. “The CDU base must play a crucial role in the election of the new party leader,” said the country’s chairman of the CDU youth organization, Sebastian Sommer, on Monday in Wiesbaden. For the first time, the CSU base should also be included in the nomination of the candidate for chancellor.

Sommer advocated an online survey of the members for both decisions. The results of this survey should be published before the Federal Party Congress. A swift and orderly procedure for the election of the new party leader had to be found. “We must not now go the path of the SPD and sink into self-employment.”

Former Union faction leader Friedrich Merz and Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn have already proven to be suitable candidates, the Hessian JU chief emphasized. At the same time, the question of the candidate for chancellor had to be clarified, since both offices belonged in one hand.

4:06 p.m .: Does the incompatibility decision remain?

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer insists on the CDU’s decision to categorically rule out cooperation with the AfD and the Left. Resistance to this is increasing in the Eastern Associations. Thuringia’s CDU general secretary Raymond Walk has called for a debate in the federal party. This decision forced the CDU into “a straitjacket” and “a vise,” Walk said in Erfurt on Monday. He also has signals from other Eastern associations of the party “that this decision should be looked at again”.

4 p.m .: Kretschmer demands prudence on the Chancellor

Saxony’s Prime Minister and CDU boss Michael Kretschmer has called for prudence after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s announced withdrawal. “The candidacy for chancellor is not a question that must now be decided immediately,” he said on Monday in Dresden. An “orderly procedure for the nomination of the Union candidate and for the transfer of the party presidency” was needed.

3:22 pm: Walter-Borjans: “If this chancellor no longer exists, new questions arise”

When asked whether the SPD would tie the coalition’s continued existence to Angela Merkel’s chancellor, Walter-Borjans said it was the basis on which the government alliance had been concluded. “If this chancellor no longer exists, then new questions arise.” The SPD wanted to continue to carry out the government’s tasks agreed in the coalition agreement as well as new points “which we are now discussing”.

3:05 pm: Walter-Borjans calls events in the CDU “very worrying”

The SPD chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans has described the turbulence in the CDU as “very worrying”. “The CDU is in a directional dispute, and it has been without leadership for a long time,” he said in Berlin on Monday. The SPD had “great respect” for the decision of the CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to refrain from running for office as chancellor and later to withdraw from the party leadership. “It is also a logical step.”

However, it should not be left unmentioned “that their tactics left the right-wing forces in the party only the space that created the acute crisis of the CDU,” said Walter-Borjans. “Now the CDU must clarify its relationship with right-wing extremists. Above all, it must also clarify how it is with the forces in its own party, for example with the Union of Values, which some of them obviously want to open up to them.”

2:33 p.m .: Time frame remains unclear

It left open when AKK could actually leave office. She emphasized that a procedure had been agreed to identify a candidate for chancellor. A party conference should clarify the “programmatic platform”, the “organizational form” as well as content and personnel issues. AKK did not say when this party congress could take place.

2:25 p.m .: AKK remains CDU chairman until candidate for chancellor is found

“I knew it was going to be a difficult time,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer at the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus. The past few years have confirmed this. She underlined that she would complete the process of finding a candidate for Chancellor of the Union – and would remain the party leader for so long. “Party presidency and candidate for chancellor must be in one hand,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. At the same time, it was clear to them that by not having their own candidate for chancellor, they could make the search for a candidate more flexible.

2.20 p.m .: AKK steps in front of the press

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has confirmed her decision that the CDU should not work with the AfD and the Left. The AfD is against everything that makes the CDU. “Any rapprochement with the AfD weakens the CDU,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. But the Union must not cooperate with the left either. Kramp-Karrenbauer said she felt strong centrifugal forces in society. The question of the chancellor’s candidacy weakened the CDU at a time when the country was dependent on a strong CDU.

14.09: FDP: Democratic parties must end tactical games

As a consequence of the political turmoil in Thuringia and Berlin, the FDP has asked the other democratic parties to quickly abandon tactical action. The first parliamentary director of the FDP parliamentary group, Marco Buschmann, said on Monday in Berlin that the prime minister election in Thuringia had shown that the AfD is now using its vote aggressively as a weapon to destroy the good reputation of Democrats and the trust in them.

“We will do everything to ensure that this new transition from obstruction to aggressive destruction of democracy and parliamentarianism will not succeed,” said Buschmann. The FDP hopes that as many other democratic forces as possible will do the same. In Thuringia, there had to be a transitional government quickly and then a new election.

1:44 pm: Circles: Günther does not call Linke as bad as AfD

The Schleswig-Holstein Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) has described the Left Party before the CDU board as not as bad as the AfD. According to participants, Secretary General Paul Ziemiak then violently contradicted him. Ziemiak was quoted as saying that the “bulwark against the left and right must stand”, which belongs to the core of the CDU. He, Ziemiak, received support for this from, among others, Hessian Minister of the Interior Peter Beuth. According to this information, Beuth called the ultra-conservative CDU splinter group Wertunion “separatists and sectarians”.

1:41 p.m .: Press conference is delayed

The CDU press conference, initially announced for 1.30 p.m., has been delayed.

1:25 p.m .: Now Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks

The words of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer are eagerly awaited. It should be ready in a few minutes.

1:20 pm: Amthor warns of “split debates”

The CDU member of the Bundestag Philipp Amthor has warned his party against “split debates”. The personnel structure of the CDU must now be clarified quickly and fundamentally. “In doing so, I warn against firing up contentious debates. Especially in these turbulent days, we must not look for the opponent in our own ranks, but must stand together.”

12.43 p.m .: CDU member representative: CDU must “fight down” AfD

The CDU member commissioner Henning Otte has demanded more leadership in his party. “The CDU now needs a chair that can set a direction with its own personality, shows leadership,” said Otte on Monday during the meetings of the party leaders in Berlin. As a party, the CDU had to regain its profile in order to strengthen itself “and fight the AfD down”. The left and right political margins should be fought politically equally.

At the meeting, Otte had said, according to participants, that the AfD should no longer destroy the tried-and-tested parliamentary system in Germany. Kramp-Karrenbauer’s decision was tough but consistent. It clears the way for a necessary stable course. Decisions should now be made quickly.

12:26: Circles: Merkel regrets AKK’s decision

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) regretted the decision of CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer not to run as candidate for chancellor and not again as party chairwoman. Participants said on Monday from the meeting of the CDU board that, according to Kramp-Karrenbauer, there had been great applause and gratitude. At first, it was still unclear whether the CDU election party convention, which was scheduled for early December, would be brought forward to elect a new party leadership and clarify the candidate for chancellor.

12.18 p.m .: Söder looks back on “trusting cooperation”

Like many others, CSU boss Markus Söder AKK paid respect for her decision, but at the same time regretted her move. The Bavarian Prime Minister wrote on Twitter: “Because we work together in a spirit of trust. But it is now necessary to fundamentally clarify the content and personnel of the CDU.”

11:53: Green leader: “Dramatic situation for the country”

Green leader Annalena Baerbock spoke of a “dramatic situation” for the country. Baerbock told the German press agency on Monday that the announcement of Kramp-Karrenbauer’s withdrawal would not solve anything. “There is a danger that an even greater power vacuum will emerge. The Union has to clarify how it can support a stable government under these conditions. All parties are now asked not to act according to party strategy, but to maintain a clear firewall against the AfD.” The unstable situation in Thuringia should not spread to Germany.

11:36: backing for AKK from the Saarland

The SPD chair from Saarland, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s home, supports AKK’s decision. “She takes responsibility and is not afraid to take hard personal steps,” wrote Anke Rehlinger on Twitter. “That’s how I know her.” The CDU now needs orientation and reliability.

11:31: CDU foreign policy: “I’m completely stunned”

The CDU foreign politician Elmar Brok reacted to the “Bild” newspaper with dismay at Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s withdrawal. “I’m completely stunned. With her step AKK makes people who are not allowed to be winners: the AfD and Mike Mohring. It doesn’t matter whether she still had the support of the Chancellor – it’s about the whole party! It there is complete disorientation now. I have never seen anything like it in decades. ” Brok had also clearly stated in front of cameras on Monday about the decision.

“It’s just bad for me”: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s withdrawal was not well received by all party colleagues, CDU federal executive board member Elmar Brok found clear words. (Source: Reuters)

11.25 a.m .: Forsa boss: Laschet has better chances than Merz

The pollster Manfred Güllner considers North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet to be the Union’s most promising candidate for chancellor after the resignation of CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. “Laschet would be the right candidate for his political course and the acceptance in the middle,” said the head of the Forsa Institute on Monday, the Reuters news agency. “Laschet is popular, but would have to distinguish itself as someone who can also be chancellor.” He was most likely to be able to get voters back from the Greens for the Union and prevent further emigration.

Güllner doesn’t trust the former CDU parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz. “I have my doubts whether Merz is a suitable candidate,” he said. “He is currently the darling of AfD supporters.” Dort sei er populärer als die AfD-Fraktionschefs Alexander Gauland und Alice Weidel. “Die Gefahr ist, dass bei einem Kandidaten Merz die Wähler der liberalen Mitte weiter in Richtung Grüne wechseln”, sagte der Meinungsforscher. “Auf der rechten Seite lassen sich nur leichte Gewinne erzielen, die das nicht ausgleichen können. Merz dürfte einen zu weichen Kurs gegenüber rechts fahren.”

11.18 Uhr: Gabriel erwartet vorzeitige Bundestagswahlen

Ex-SPD-Chef Sigmar Gabriel sieht die große Koalition in der Krise. Die Bundesregierung sei nach dem SPD-Kandidatenwettbewerb zum zweiten Mal in kurzer Zeit paralysiert. “Ich vermute, es dauert nicht mehr lange, dann gibt es Neuwahlen”, sagte Gabriel der “Bild”-Zeitung am Montag.

Der Rückzug vom Parteivorsitz sei “die logische Konsequenz”, so Gabriel. Sie habe sich in Thüringen nicht durchsetzen können. Der CDU bescheinigt Gabriel Gespaltenheit. Die Flügel drifteten zu sehr auseinander. “Wir erleben das Ende der zweiten großen Volkspartei in Deutschland.”

11.10 Uhr: Kreise: Kramp-Karrenbauer will Kanzlerkandidaten-Prozess leiten – Unterstützung aus Präsidium

Sie will weiter mitmischen: CDU-Chefin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer hat deutlich gemacht, dass sie den Prozess zur Einigung auf einen gemeinsamen Unions-Kanzlerkandidaten führen will. Der Kandidat oder die Kandidatin solle dann auch Nachfolger im CDU-Vorsitz werden, machte Kramp-Karrenbauer am Montag nach Angaben von Teilnehmern im Parteipräsidium klar. Für diese Ankündigung habe sie große Unterstützung des Präsidiums erhalten. Unklar war zunächst, ob das bedeutet, dass der eigentlich für Anfang Dezember in Stuttgart geplante Wahlparteitag der CDU vorgezogen werden soll.

11.05 Uhr: Friedrich Merz gibt sich zurückhaltend

Ex-Unionsfraktionschef Friedrich Merz hat sich zunächst zurückhaltend zur Lage in der CDU nach dem angekündigten Rückzug von Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer als Parteichefin geäußert. “In so einer Situation ist kluges Nachdenken wichtiger, als schnell zu reden”, ließ der CDU-Politiker am Montag seinen Sprecher auf Anfrage der Deutschen Presse-Agentur mitteilen. Der 2018 gegen Kramp-Karrenbauer bei der Wahl zum Parteivorsitz unterlegene Merz gilt nach wie vor als möglicher CDU-Chef und Kanzlerkandidat. Er hat sich beide Entscheidungen bislang offengehalten.

11.01 Uhr: Altmaier: “Ungewöhnlich ernste Situation für CDU”

Bundeswirtschaftsminister Peter Altmaier (CDU) hat den ankündigten Rücktritt von Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer vom CDU-Vorsitz als “ungewöhnlich ernste Situation für die CDU, für alle in der CDU” bezeichnet. Vor einer Sitzung des Parteivorstands in Berlin wollte sich Altmaier am Montag darüberhinaus nicht weiter zum Thema äußern: “Es geht um unsere Zukunft als moderne Volkspartei der Mitte. Deshalb bitte ich um Verständnis, dass wir jetzt zunächst die Sitzung des Bundesvorstands und die Erklärung der Parteivorsitzenden abwarten”, sagte er.

10.52 Uhr: Ralf Stegner: CDU darf nicht über Rechtsruck spekulieren

Der schleswig-holsteinische SPD-Politiker Ralf Stegner hat die CDU davor gewarnt, weiter über eine mögliche Annäherung zur AfD zu spekulieren. “Jede ‘Normalisierung’ zwischen den Konservativen und den Rechtsradikalen von der AfD berührt das Fundament unserer parlamentarischen Demokratie”, twitterte Stegner.

10.45 Uhr: SPD-Politiker: Laschet muss CDU-Vorsitz beanspruchen – “sonst ist er ein Papiertiger”

Der SPD-Politiker und Bundestagsvizepräsident Thomas Oppermann hat CDU-Vize Armin Laschet aufgefordert, sich nach dem angekündigten Rückzug Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauers vom Parteivorsitz zu seinen Ambitionen zu äußern. “Jetzt muss Laschet den Vorsitz beanspruchen, sonst ist er ein Papiertiger”, sagte Oppermann den Zeitungen der Funke Mediengruppe (Dienstagsausgaben).

Der nordrhein-westfälische Ministerpräsident Laschet ist neben dem einstigen Unions-Fraktionschef Friedrich Merz und Gesundheitsminister Jens Spahn als künftiger CDU-Chef im Gespräch. Er gilt auch als möglicher Anwärter auf die Kanzlerkandidatur der Union.

Oppermann zeigte sich in den Funke-Zeitungen überrascht, dass Kramp-Karrenbauer direkt nach dem Thüringen-Desaster der Partei ihren Rückzug von CDU-Vorsitz und einer möglichen Kanzlerkandidatur ankündigt. “Sie hätte auch cool bleiben und Markus Söder als Kanzlerkandidat vorschicken können, so wie es einst Angela Merkel mit Edmund Stoiber getan hat”, sagte der SPD-Politiker in Anspielung auf die Kanzlerkandidatur Stoibers 2002.

10.36 Uhr: Spahn: “Großer Respekt vor der Entscheidung”

Bundesgesundheitsminister Jens Spahn (CDU) hat Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Respekt für ihre Entscheidung zum Rückzug gezollt. “Ich habe großen Respekt vor dieser unerwarteten Entscheidung”, twitterte Spahn. “Die Trennung von Parteiführung und Kanzleramt war eine schwierige Situation.” Es sei das Verdienst Kramp-Karrenbauers, CDU und CSU “wieder zusammengeführt zu haben”. “Der Zusammenhalt unserer Partei muss auch jetzt unsere Leitschnur sein”, schrieb Spahn.

10.32 Uhr: Ziemiak verteidigt AKK gegen Kritik in Thüringer Krise

CDU-Generalsekretär Paul Ziemiak hat Parteichefin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in der Thüringer Regierungskrise gegen den Vorwurf mangelnden Durchsetzungsvermögens verteidigt. “Am Ende wird immer auf die Parteivorsitzende gezeigt, aber ich finde, sie hat sich sehr eingesetzt”, sagte er am Montag im ZDF-“Morgenmagazin”. Kramp-Karrenbauer habe sich Zeit für die CDU-Abgeordneten in Thüringen genommen und ihnen zugehört, aber auch “ihre klaren Positionen noch mal deutlich gemacht”. Am Ende habe man sich auf ein gemeinsames Verfahren verständigt. “Ich habe eine Vorsitzende erlebt, die für ihre Grundüberzeugung ganz intensiv eintritt”, kommentierte Ziemiak.

10.30 Uhr: Kreise: Kramp-Karrenbauer hat Vertreter nicht vorab informiert

Die CDU-Spitze ist von der Entscheidung der CDU-Vorsitzenden Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer überrascht worden, nicht erneut für den Parteivorsitz anzutreten und auf die Kanzlerkandidatur zu verzichten. Bei einem Treffen mit ihren Stellvertretern am Sonntagabend habe Kramp-Karrenbauer ihren Schritt nicht angedeutet, erfuhr die Deutsche Presse-Agentur am Montag aus Parteikreisen. In der Sitzung des Parteipräsidiums sei Kramp-Karrenbauer Dank und viel Respekt für ihre Arbeit ausgesprochen worden. Zunächst hätten die Teilnehmer der morgendlichen Sitzung mit Schweigen auf die Ankündigung der CDU-Chefin reagiert.

Aus diesen Kreisen hieß es weiter, Kramp-Karrenbauer werde die CDU so lange führen, bis ein Kanzlerkandidat oder eine Kanzlerkandidatin gewählt worden sei. Kramp-Karrenbauer habe mit ihrem Schritt verhindern wollen, dass es eine ähnliche Entwicklung in der CDU gebe wie im vergangenen Jahr um die damalige SPD-Partei- und Fraktionschefin Andrea Nahles. Demnach hat Kramp-Karrenbauer auch wegen der Diskussion über ihr Verhalten in der Thüringen-Krise in der vergangenen Woche befürchtet, immer stärker in eine Abwärtsspirale zu kommen, aus der sie sich nicht mehr würde befreien könne.

10.25 Uhr: Gauland sieht Chancen für Zusammenarbeit von AfD und CDU

AfD-Bundestagsfraktionschef Alexander Gauland hat den angekündigten Rückzug von CDU-Chefin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer begrüßt und sieht nun Chancen für eine Annäherung der beiden Parteien. “Es ist völlig unsinnig und realitätsfern, auf Dauer nicht mit der AfD zusammenarbeiten zu wollen”, erklärte Gauland am Montag in Berlin. Er fügte hinzu: “Ihre parteiinterne Politik der Ausgrenzung gegenüber unserer demokratischen Bürgerpartei hat sie nicht durchsetzen können.” Teile der AfD werden als Verdachtsfall vom Verfassungsschutz überprüft. Zahlreiche Mitglieder haben Verbindungen in die rechtsradikale Szene.

Kramp-Karrenbauer habe “die CDU mit ihrem Ausgrenzungskurs ins Chaos gestürzt”, sagte Gauland weiter. Mit Blick auf Thüringen betonte er, wenn die Union lieber Politiker der Linken “in Staatsämter hieven will als mit uns auch nur zu reden, verabschiedet sie sich aus dem bürgerlichen Lager”.

10.20 Uhr: Von Storch hält AKK für ein Bauernopfer

Die AfD-Bundestagsabgeordnete und stellvertretende Parteivorsitzende Beatrix von Storch hat Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauers Rückzug als vorgeschützt interpretiert. Verantwortung für die Lage trage Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, twitterte von Storch. Die Union müsse sich nun für eine Richtung entscheiden – hin zur Linken oder hin zur AfD.

10.15 Uhr: Auch aus der SPD Warnungen vor Rechtsruck der CDU

In der SPD gibt es nach dem angekündigten Rückzug Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauers vom CDU-Vorsitz Befürchtungen wegen eines drohenden Rechtsrucks der Partei. SPD-Vorstandsmitglied und Außen-Staatsminister Michael Roth nannte die Entwicklungen in der CDU im Internetdienst Twitter am Montag “beunruhigend”.

Es werde jetzt “noch ungewisser, ob anständige Demokratinnen und Demokraten parteiübergreifend zusammenstehen im Kampf für Demokratie und gegen Nationalismus”, schrieb Roth weiter. Er spielte damit offensichtlich auf Äußerungen einiger CDU-Politiker an, die das Nein der Partei zu einer Zusammenarbeit mit der AfD infrage stellen.

10.08 Uhr: Kipping fürchtet nach AKK-Rückzug Rechtsruck bei der CDU

Linken-Parteichefin Katja Kipping hat die Befürchtung geäußert, dass die CDU nach dem angekündigten Rückzug ihrer Vorsitzenden Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Kurs auf eine Koalition mit der AfD nimmt. “AKKs Verdienst war, dass sie die Abgrenzung der Union nach rechts gehalten und damit die Seele der Union bewahrt hat”, sagte Kipping am Montag der Nachrichtenagentur AFP in Berlin.

“Der Kampf um AKKs Nachfolge wird eine Richtungsauseinandersetzung”, fügte die Linken-Vorsitzende hinzu. Komme nun Friedrich Merz, “dann wird die CDU bald mit der AfD koalieren”. Zuvor war bekannt geworden, dass Kramp-Karrenbauer nach den Querelen um Thüringen den Parteivorsitz in absehbarer Zeit abgeben und auf die Kanzlerkandidatur verzichten will.

10 Uhr: Merkel will AKK als Verteidigungsministerin behalten

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel will Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (beide CDU) auch nach deren angekündigten Rückzug vom Parteivorsitz im Kabinett behalten: In der Sitzung des CDU-Präsidiums am Montagmorgen habe sich die Kanzlerin ausdrücklich dafür ausgesprochen, dass Kramp-Karrenbauer im Amt der Bundesverteidigungsministerin bleibe, erfuhr AFP aus Parteikreisen. Merkel habe der scheidenden CDU-Vorsitzenden “großen Dank ausgesprochen”.

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