Something has to happen at the CDU – in terms of personnel. At least that’s how Saxony’s Prime Minister sees it. There is agreement among the Union politicians on the participation of the grassroots. Only in what form this should happen is still open.
The CDU leadership around party leader Armin Laschet has started discussions on the consequences of the historic election defeat and a reorganization of the party. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer called for a party congress this year when he arrived at the CDU headquarters in Berlin. It is “perfectly clear” that it is not just about the election of a chairman, but about the entire federal board.
The deputy CDU chairwoman Julia Klöckner, who, like Kretschmer, is a member of the party presidium, said the important thing now is not the question of time, but of thoroughness and content. Kretschmer said: “We need a chairman or a chairperson, but also a team that is happy to take on this task together.” It goes without saying that the party base will be involved. It remains to be seen whether this is done with a membership decision or in some other way. “But nobody should give the impression that the party base could be pushed aside.”
According to the CDU statute, a member survey is also possible on personnel issues – however, it is not binding at the decisive party congress, but is hardly to be ignored. The chairwoman of the Women’s Union, Annette Widmann-Mauz, said women played an essential role and “they will also push for their consideration”.
“Party base must now be involved”
The CDU member of the Bundestag, Philipp Amthor, also urged the members to participate. It is important to think the party base and the party leadership together so that there is no “legends”, said the CDU politician on Deutschlandfunk. “It is clear that the party base must now be involved.”
One could not afford to change the chairman every few months. “We now need a solution that is widely accepted.” The federal executive had to make a decision on how the procedure could look. There are different options. A member survey is one, so Amthor. Regional conferences, at which mood images are queried, are another. Both instruments are not legally binding.
In the morning before the official start of the meetings, Laschet had met for preliminary discussions with Secretary General Paul Ziemiak and the Deputy Chairmen Volker Bouffier, Jens Spahn and Silvia Breher. Laschet wanted to present his plans for staff and content renewal to the party leadership after the historic disaster in the federal election. He announced on Thursday that he wanted to moderate the renewal process and propose a party congress to the bodies to reorganize. Laschet had put aside his own ambitions for a new staffing and also for possible further negotiations with the Greens and FDP about a Jamaica alliance.