BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The chairmen of the CDU and CSU – Armin Laschet and Markus Söder – are both ready to accept the Union’s candidacy for chancellor. The Prime Ministers of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria announced this publicly for the first time on Sunday. Until when the decision between them would be made was initially open. In the CDU and CSU, however, there is growing pressure to meet them within a few days. On this Monday, the party presidencies of the CDU and CSU will meet in separate sessions. Laschet and Söder declared that they did not want to anticipate the deliberations.
Laschet said in a press conference at the closed meeting of the top of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group that he and Söder had a long conversation before that day. “We have declared our readiness to run for the candidacy for chancellor.” Söder reported: “We have found that both are suitable and both are ready.” His impression from the conversation with Laschet was: “There is no doubt about his determination and my determination to run for office. We both believe we have good reasons.”
Söder said of his candidacy that if the CDU, as a big sister, gave it broad support, he would be ready to take this step. But if the CDU makes a different decision, they will accept this. And they will continue to work very well together. The conversation with Laschet was open and amicable, but not yet conclusive.
The CDU chairman emphasized: “In this situation in which the country is, our aim is to achieve as much unity as possible between the CDU and the CSU with a chancellor who is leaving office, because there is a lot at stake. ” They both had a “good relationship”, assured Söder. “We will also, no matter what the constellation is, at least I can say that for myself, shoulder it together.”
Laschet and Söder had originally agreed to take over the candidacy for chancellor between Easter and Pentecost. More and more top politicians are now demanding faster action. Söder said at the press conference that the decision should be made “promptly, sooner rather than later”. Laschet made a similar statement in the “Bild am Sonntag”: “If I take into account the mood across the board of the CDU, the decision should be made very quickly.”
The leaders of the parliamentary groups also expressed themselves accordingly before the start of the exam on Sunday. “We have a great interest in the whole thing going on quickly now,” said the parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU). “I guess we’re one step further tonight.” CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt emphasized: “The time is ripe for us to make the decisions in the next two weeks.”
Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) also pushed the pace: “We now have to decide very quickly,” he told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. When asked whether there could be an agreement in the coming week, he replied: “I could well imagine that.” Bouffier made it clear that he considers it pointless to take your time until Pentecost: “A Pentecost miracle will not help us there.” Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) told “Bild am Sonntag”: “When we run for chancellor next week, the decision must be made whether we will run with Armin Laschet or Markus Söder.”
In the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, there is growing nervousness in view of the collapse in polls for the Union. Individual CDU MPs have already spoken out in favor of the CSU boss because of Söder’s high popularity ratings. Many CDU MPs also demand a say: “As members of a self-confident CDU / CSU parliamentary group, we expect that before a determination of this scope is announced, the CDU and CSU will discuss it in a cross-party parliamentary group meeting and, if in doubt, a decision will be made there too.” , it said in a statement by more than 50 parliamentarians.
Dobrindt said on Sunday that the clarification of the candidacy for chancellor was a “process” that the parliamentary group wanted to accompany intensively. “MEPs have a natural say on these issues.”
Laschet made it clear in “Bild am Sonntag” that, unlike the CSU and Söder, he had always stood by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s side on many political issues. “For years I have been in agreement with the Chancellor on fundamental questions of politics – from saving the euro to refugee policy. Even when the conflict with the CSU over a European refugee policy escalated two years ago,” he emphasized./sk/DP/ mis