If a party blows, have the responsible to rise up. Angela Merkel of the christian democratic CDU and Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian zusterpartij CSU withdrew at the end of last year their conclusions after verkiezingsnederlagen in the German länder of Hessen and Bavaria, and acted both as party chairman. The 69-year-old Seehofer gives Saturday at an extraordinary party congress in Munich after more than ten years the torch to the 52-year-old Markus Söder. That is the difficult task in spite of a disintegrating electorate, the political weight of the Christlich-Soziale Union to keep.
The Bavarian conservative party ruled for decades with an absolute majority, but that dominance came in October 2018 to an end. Despite the good economic situation in terms of surface area, the largest state in Germany were the voters in the hordes of the road: to the right, to the xenophobic Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) as a result of the vluchtelingencrisis of 2015, but also to the left, to the Greens, with their focus on air quality and the beautiful Bavarian nature proves to be more the finger on the pulse. The CSU thundered with more than ten percentage points down and took 37.2 percent its worst result since 1950 down.
Seehofer struck all of a ‘mea culpa’ after the defeat in the German parliamentary elections of september 2017, as minister-president of Bavaria, to make room for Söder. After the debacle in the state elections forced heavy pressure from the partijmilitanten him to step aside as party chairman. Söder was not the zwarte piet situations for the loss of the absolute majority in Bavaria. He was lucky that he quickly became the ideological related Freie Wähler on board could be lifted to form a coalition and prime minister to continue.
Fuss with Merkel
Seehofer is one of the best-known faces from the German politics. In the 90’s he was minister of Health under chancellor Helmut Kohl, later he became minister of Agriculture under Angela Merkel. In 2008 Seehofer, the leadership of CSU and the government in Bavaria. After his exit as prime minister, he was minister of the Interior in the government-Merkel.
In that position, collided with Seehofer for the past year controlled with Merkel, among others, because he is under pressure from the AfD a jerk to the right made and is an advocate showed a much stricter immigration policy. Mid-June last year, he brought the so-called ‘GroKo’ (grand coalition of CDU/CSU and the SPD party) to undermine by demanding that migrants at the border with Austria would directly be returned. Seehofer and Merkel regions of the folds finally smoothed with a half-hearted compromise, but many observers see the ongoing turf one of the main reasons for the declining popularity of the CDU/CSU.
Seehofer remains after Saturday minister, but in Berlin remain speculations doing the rounds that he is not the full legislature in 2021 would have to sit out. The question is also to what extent he’d still feel compelled to stokebrand to play. With the eye on the European parliamentary elections of 26 may, CDU and CSU have an interest in the ranks to close. The 46-year-old Manfred Weber, vice-president of CSU, is the ‘Spitzenkandidat’ of the European people’s Party (EPP), and so candidate to Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission.
‘All citizens have a political home’
It should also be noted that Söder, who in the past would like to the distance, underlined the national politics in Berlin and outside of Bavaria, is often regarded as a demagogue and provocateur, is a lot more moderate attitude since he is the minister-president. As party chairman, he will it ensure that the CSU on a national level, its political weight stores. In the search for a future direction after the verkiezingsnederlagen loved Alexander Dobrindt, a CSU leader in the Bundestag, a plea to not only the political center to focus. “It is our clear ambition to include all citizens, of the centre for democratic right, a political home,” she said recently in an interview.
With the afzwaaien of Seehofer at the CSU, there will be no chairman of the three governing parties have a seat in the federal government. At the CDU solved Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Merkel in december as party chairman. The social democrats are led by Andrea Nahles, the SPD leader in the German parliament.