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The German ruling party is backing Laschet to be Chancellor Merkel’s replacement candidate

The German ruling party is backing Laschet to be Chancellor Merkel’s replacement candidate

Armin Laschet has won the German government’s support for the Christian Democratic Union in a bid to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel after a campaign that sparked deep ruptures in the party five months before the national elections.

Thirty-one of the 46 members of the CDU’s executive committee voted in favor of Laschet in a secret ballot with his rival. Markus Söder, The prime minister of Bavaria, receives only nine, according to the party. There were six abstentions.

The results mean that Laschet will be confident that he will be the center-right candidate in the September Bundestag election to be chancellor, as Merkel will be the German leader after 16 years.

Söder, the Bavarian sister party of the CDU, the head of the Christian Social Union, said she would accept a clear vote in favor of Laschet.

But the vote cast doubt on the suitability of Laschet to compete among leading Christian Democrats. The party executive unanimously submitted his candidacy last week, but he got only 77.5% of the vote, and 22.5% went to Söder.

Laschet was 60 years old Elected head of the CDU in January. But he has been fighting in the polls, and many in the CDU / CSU bloc thought they had a better chance of winning the election as Söder’s candidate.

The chaos within the ruling party has also reflected its performance in the polls. The CDU rose to nearly 40 percent last year because it was rewarded by voters Handling German skill of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

But its acceptance rating has fallen in 2021 when people’s anger has risen above it Covid-19 vaccine slow pace and some parliamentarians won the revelation huge commissions in agreements to obtain face masks.

The CDU faces a major challenge from the opposition Greens, as some polls believe they can take the chancellor in the election. He chose the party Annalena Baerbock, A 40-year-old parliamentarian, as a candidate for rector, marked a stark contrast to the open power struggle of the CDU / CSU in a smooth process.

The son of miner Laschet, he studied law and edited a Catholic newspaper in 1994 before being elected to the Bundestag. In the 1990s he served as prime minister of the most populous German state in North Rhine-Westphalia and became prime minister there. In 2017.

Laschet is Merkel’s ideological ally and has said that if she is elected chancellor, she will continue with policies halfway. They had been playing for a long time natural heir.

But its popularity has plummeted during the pandemic, when it has been described as questionable and inappropriate. In contrast, Söder, who achieved a high reputation as a crucial crisis manager, has seen his electorate rise.

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder’s poll has risen, but he said he will respect the decision of the CDU’s executive committee before the vote © Reuters

Laschet was approved by some of the CDU’s top actors on Monday, such as former Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Bundestage president Volker Bouffier, Hesse’s western prime minister, and Ralph Brinkhaus, the CDU / CSU parliamentary group leader.

But other members of the Executive, such as Peter Altmaier, the economy minister and a close ally of Merkel, sided with Söder, a move that would mislead Laschet’s rule.

The prime ministers of Saxony-Anhalt and Saarland also broke up with Laschet in recent days and threw the weight behind Söder, saying he had much greater support among party members. The strong young wing of the CDU, Junge Union, sided with the Bavarian.

Söder received support among many CDU lawmakers who fear losing seats in September if Laschet leads the campaign.

Some who attended Monday’s meeting said the CDU / CSU parliamentary group and regional party leaders should be involved in any decision that should be a candidate for chancellor.

But Laschet stressed that only the executive could decide and asked for a vote to resolve the issue. “We should decide today, as we initially anticipated,” he said, according to participants.

Söder made it clear that he would respect the decision of the CDU executive, and told reporters this week that he had made a proposal to the party “but only the CDU can decide whether it wants to accept that offer.”

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