by Thorsten Koch
The CDU chairman and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, has thanked Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) for his fairness in negotiating with the newly appointed candidate for Chancellor of the two Union parties. Laschet promised to involve Söder closely when it comes to the federal election campaign up to the election on September 26th. “Markus Söder will play a central role for the Federal Republic of Germany,” said Laschet. “We are closer together in our basic convictions than we have been in a long time.” Now one had to work on a joint program: “It’s about the best answers to the pressing questions of the future.” The ranks within the two Union parties will be closed. Laschet emphasized that there had been a very open debate over the past few days.
Söder: full support for Laschet
At the end of a six-hour consultation, the CDU federal executive board had clearly spoken out in favor of Laschet as the top candidate of the Union parties. Söder had previously made his own candidacy dependent on that vote. He promised to support Laschet with full force and withdrew his application for future German head of government, for which the current finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock, from the Green Party, are now applying. The latter said they were looking forward to a fair election campaign. Söder had congratulated Laschet immediately after the vote of the CDU committee and assured him that he would respect the decision made. Söder also thanked him for the support he had received from parts of the CDU, such as the Junge Union, which had moved him very much.
Klöckner proposes a “decision-making council”
Chancellor Merkel congratulated Laschet on her candidacy for Chancellor and assured him of her cooperation. Julia Klöckner (CDU), who has a deputy seat on the CDU executive board, suggested setting up a “decision-making council” from the CDU and CSU for the next but one election. “This would give our members and everyone involved clarity,” explained Klöckner. Lower Saxony’s CDU state chairman, Bernd Althusmann, also pleaded for a regulated procedure, and for the Union to stand for elections as one. Criticism regarding Laschet’s election came from the Left Party and the AfD.