- The current situation won’t allow the party meeting to be held on December 4th.
- It is the second time in less than a year that the CDU congress has been postponed due to COVID-19.
- Friedrich Merz is of the opinion that there are obstacles being placed on his path to keep him from ascending to the party leadership role.
The executive committee of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which is Germany’s ruling party, has settled on the decision to postpone its national congress that had initially been scheduled for December 4. The primary aim of the congress was electing its new leader, and successor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The CDU party Secretary General, Paul Ziemiak, explained that the current situation won’t allow the party meeting to be held on December 4th, and specified that the decision on how to hold the next party congress will be taken around January 16.
The Secretary General elaborated that if the situation of the pandemic would still be unmanageable for long, the party will have to take into account the possibility of organizing an electronic debate for the election of the new leader. This would be followed by a vote by correspondence.
Whoever is elected as the new leader of the party will have a great chance of succeeding Chancellor Merkel, who has been in power since 2005. The incumbent chancellor has, on her part, given an assurance that she won’t be seeking re-election in the federal elections, scheduled for October 2021.
It is the second time in less than a year that the CDU congress has been postponed due to COVID-19. After Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation as president of the CDU on February 10, the election of her successor had been planned for April 25 in Berlin. However, due to the spread of the coronavirus, the congress was postponed to December, in Stuttgart.
So far, Friedrich Merz, a right-wing member of the party; Armin Laschet, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia; and Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs commission; are running for the presidency of the CDU.
While Merz insisted on holding the congress in any case, despite the critical situation due to the drastic increase in infections in the country, Laschet, on the other hand, is strongly in favor of its postponement.
Merz is of the opinion that there are obstacles being placed on his path to keep him from ascending to the party leadership role. There are “significant parts of the party house that want to prevent me from becoming a party leader,” he recently said on ARD Monday in the “Morning Magazine.”
In the meantime, on Monday, Chancellor Merkel said she was deeply concerned about the development of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany, and stressed that the increase in infections must absolutely be stopped.
The Chancellor spoke of a “highly dynamic” and “dramatic” situation, sounding the alarm on a possible impact of the uncontrolled increase in infections on German intensive care units.
On Saturday, almost 15,000 new infections were recorded that day. The figure for Monday, on the other hand, reported by the Robert Koch Institute, is lower, equal to about 8,685 new positives, hence indicating a slight decrease.
As per statistics by the Worldometers website, Germany has so far recorded 441,861 Coronavirus cases, 10,154 deaths, and 321,600 recoveries.