No more four weeks until the decision at the CDU party congress on December 7 in Hamburg: Friedrich Merz has pledged a "fair, decent and loyal" treatment in the event of his election to the new CDU chairman Chancellor Angela Merkel. That he was an "anti-Merkel" or wanted a "settlement" with Merkel, was "all stupid stuff," said Merz.

The former Union faction leader said on Saturday at the CDU-Kreisparteitag in Arnsberg-Oeventrop, Sauerland, that the CDU and its future chairman would also continue to be "in the middle". He rejected a shift to the right of the CDU.

The change at the head of the CDU would be an "incision" for the federal CDU, said Merz. The election of the new chairman would be "a profound break in the history of our party." From this, the new chairman must make a chance. For many, the CDU is no longer a modern and forward-looking party.

At the same time, Merz spoke in favor of limiting the term of Chancellor and Prime Minister in Germany. The close to 500 delegates of his home association nominated Merz closed as a candidate for the successor of party leader Merkel.

Offer of cooperation

The most promising candidates for the CDU presidency are Merz CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Minister of Health Jens Spahn. Merz explicitly offered Kramp-Karrenbauer cooperation. Should he win, he hopes that she will continue to play an important role at the top of the CDU in Germany. But he also takes Spahn seriously as a voting rival.

This in turn has already brought backing in his homeland. The district association Borken in the Münsterland nominated the 38-year-old on Friday evening unanimously as candidates for the CDU national presidency. "That gives tailwind," said Spahn. "We will discuss the future of our party and our country as intensively as we have not discussed it," he said. "We're just learning something new as a CDU." Spahn has been chairman of the CDU district association Borken for 13 years.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer sees the presidency of the party not automatically linked to the next chancellor candidate of the Union. "When you run for the CDU presidency, you always have to think about the possibility of a candidate for a chancellor, but first of all the party chairmanship is on its own," she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. At the same time, she emphasized that a CDU chairman would "always have a strong say on the question of the Chancellor candidate."

The former prime minister of Saarland warned the SPD to provoke new elections. "I do not seek new elections, the federal government has a responsibility that goes beyond Germany," she said. "But those who frivolously flirt with a break in the grand coalition will end up with more presidential elections than the continuation of government work in another coalition."


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