The CDU chooses continuity

Berlin, from our correspondent

Armin Laschet claims it: he embodies the continuity of the Merkel years. Elected this Saturday, January 16, new boss of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), this 59-year-old Catholic wants ” conduct a policy at the center “, Like the Chancellor for fifteen years. For this father of three, from Aix la Chapelle, in the far west of Germany, continuity is not a bad word but means ” to perpetuate the successes “, all ” looking to the future “. Of the three candidates who contested this key post in German politics, he is the only one to so clearly assume the chancellor’s legacy.

« Laschet tries to occupy the center of the political class, like Angela Merkel whom he has always supported Commented Uwe Jun from the University of Trêve. ” The very strong popularity of the Chancellor certainly worked in her favor this Saturday »Adds this political scientist.

Recreate trust

Armin Laschet also wants to recreate confidence within a party, admittedly the country’s first political force but shaken by the migration crisis of 2015 and the rise of the extreme right. He says he does not want to polarize but ” to integrate “And” find compromises “. He presents himself as a team man, he who has been leading Germany’s most populous region, North Rhine-Westphalia since 2017, with liberal partners and a majority holding to one vote. He prides himself on knowing almost all the political workings, having been elected municipal, deputy and regional minister, European deputy.

« The CDU needs a man who, like 1,000 meters underground, knows how to lead his team »He declared, referring to his father, a former miner. He thus reached out to his two unfortunate competitors, reformist Norbert Röttgen and conservative Friedrich Merz, whose ” positions must be represented ».

A man of synthesis

« Armin Laschet’s main strength is his ability to unite very different groups », Confirme Uwe Jun. « He does not claim to know everything but knows how to listen. It represented the minimal risk for the CDU. His first mission will be to reach out to those who did not vote for him: the federations in the east of the country, economic and conservative circles. », Judges this political scientist.

For the new strongman of the CDU, there will be many projects, between the management of the pandemic and structural challenges such as climate change, digitization and the fight against crime. Armin Laschet relies on his own record, as regional president, to convince him who was the first to set up a regional ministry for digital technology and who leads a policy of zero tolerance in the face of family clan crime .

Public opinion to conquer

Its task will not be easy, however, in this year 2021 loaded with electoral, regional and national meetings. ” Its biggest weakness is its lack of a clear line » note Uwe Jun. « While Angela Merkel needs time to make decisions, she often reacts too quickly. It earned him criticism during the pandemic »He analyzes.

Among the voters too, the new president of the CDU suffers from a deficit. Armin Laschet would like to represent the Christian Democratic family (CDU / CSU) in the legislative elections of September 28, but only 28% of Germans consider him suitable for this post. Who, precisely, will represent the CDU and its sister party the CSU in this key election? The decision will be taken in March but could see other candidates emerge, such as the very popular Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, or the Minister President of Bavaria, Markus Söder.

Armin Laschet’s victory this Saturday is therefore only a first step. The second battle promises to be just as difficult.

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