And then the news of the resignation of Hans-Georg Maaßens at the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus CDU meeting is also exploding.
There have been many notable meetings at the party's headquarters in the past twelve months: the Jamaican probe, the sonorizer and negotiator GroKo, the fierce defender of the Union's internal dispute. Angela Merkel has always been there as party leader and chancellor – and her star sank with each round, his authority was scratched more and more. The last scratches he suffered in the state election in Hesse last Sunday failed, where the local CDU lost more than eleven percentage points.
But the case of the still-constitutional protection president Hans-Georg Maaßen, who spent weeks in September keeping the coalition and the country afire, greatly hurt Merkel. If things had developed without causality Maaus and Merkel, then, under the pressure of the main friends of the party (read more in the current Spiegel) the morning after the election of Hesse, also declared their resignation to the presidency of the party?
Now CDU supervisors are sitting together on this dreary November day since the afternoon to be clear on the way to Merkel's succession – and may suddenly read on their smartphones and tablets that Maassen said goodbye to the intelligence agency in a speech farewell to conspiracy. Seehofer himself will no longer be able to cover him.
But there is no turning back – on the contrary, the search for a chair is gaining more and more momentum: twelve candidates are already there on Sunday afternoon, who want to follow Merkel at the party congress in Hamburg. Three basic candidates have been announced so far, six of them have been added, and then there are the three promising candidates: Secretary-General Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn and the former Union faction leader, Friedrich Merz.
If someone does not retire from this trio (which may be Spahn at the moment, because he and Merz have a very similar profile in parts and there is still time left over at 38), the 1001 delegates of the CDU will vote in a good month. someone of them to the party leadership.
AKK and Spahn are in the Adenauer house on Sunday and Monday with him on the exam, Merz sits against him only virtually at the table because he spent the past almost ten years as much as possible in the politician Off and currently no CDU-Spitzenamt.
Merz has the moment – but that does not mean much
It is precisely this that gives him impetus, as the saying goes, his candidacy is perceived with particular interest because it comes from outside, so to speak. And because Merz, who once wanted to introduce the tax return on the roller coaster and was synonymous with clear messages, is hailed by her fans as Merkel's counter-proposal. Kramp-Karrenbauer, on the other hand, has to be as invisible as possible in the Adenauer-Haus for reasons of justice until the party's congress as secretary-general, this week she will officially declare her candidacy.
In polls, Merz is in the lead – but that has little to say, because only in early December in Hamburg will be elected and also not vote for the citizens, but the delegates of the CDU. In fact, there is much confusion in the party since Merkel's surprise announcement that the election result is open. At the moment, this is being paralyzed in such euphoric phrases as party member Thomas Strobl when he says in front of Adenauer-Haus on Sunday afternoon: "The CDU is alive."
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But feeling alive is also a pretty tiring state for a party that has almost always anticipated important personalities in the past. This leads, for example, to the fact that – unlike the planned – not all formal issues are clarified until late Sunday afternoon.
First, Christian Democrats must agree to a procedure up to Hamburg. Even before the retreat, the seven CDU associations – including the Junge Union, Women's Union and the Christian Democratic Workers & Union (CDA) – agreed that they would first sit down with the three promising candidates to discuss the future planned cooperation. speak. This also belongs to Merkel's criticism: that she cared very little for the associations as leader of the party. And then the three candidates are still due at seven to introduce themselves.
Clear votes will be missing
Whether the associations vote for voting is still open. Clear votes are likely to be generally scarce, even in view of the state associations within which partisan delegates are organized: With the exception of Saarland, where it is already clear the former local leader of the CDU and Prime Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer, There is hardly a national association that recommends to its delegates the choice of one person.
Not even the strongest member of North Rhine-Westphalia, which sends two candidates with Spahn and Merz for the race, in which there are also many AKK supporters. One of them could be the country's chief, Armin Laschet, who, like Merkel's confidant, Kramp-Karrenbauer, belongs to the liberal wing of the CDU. Laschet says on Sunday: "I do not believe that, if the national federations give their own votes."
AKK, Spahn and Merz will have to work harder to convince the delegates. In addition to the appearances in the associations, about ten regional conferences are planned in all parts of Germany, where the candidates present themselves. If any of the unnamed candidates will be there and how this should be done formally, it should be clarified on Monday morning. If this is a "big time" for the three promising candidates, how does Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther describe the candidate's situation on Sunday? It will be especially exhausting for them to complete all these commitments during the remaining five weeks.
Especially for the candidate Merz, who has managed to make his life out of active politics much freer in recent years. Does he have the discipline and the bite for this tour in Germany?
Five weeks is not much – but much can happen until the beginning of December. The race has just begun.