In the end, the most persistent prevailed, but not the favorite of the rank and file and public opinion in general. The president of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, will be the Conservatives’ candidate for the Federal Chancellery and the succession of Angela Merkel in power in the general elections next September, after defeat in a tough duel the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) and head of the Bavarian government, Markus Söder. Laschet forced his victory by forcing the executive of his party to speak in his favor early this morning in a vote that was decisive after eight days of tug of war between the two candidates. “The die is cast. Armin Laschet will be the candidate for the Union’s Chancellery, “said the Bavarian Prime Minister when he acknowledged his defeat at noon on Tuesday. To give up his aspirations, Söder had demanded that the CDU leadership cast a clear vote. The president of the CSU had, despite everything, the support of a large number of conservative deputies in the Bundestag, much better results than his Rhenish rival in the polls and the support of several regional organizations of the CDU, some of weight like that of Berlin.
However, the winner of the duel will have to collect a lot of rubble. President of the CDU for only three months, Armin Laschet was obliged to demand fidelity and demonstrate his authority among his own coreligionists, but at the cost of making clear his fragility as a leader. It could be seen in the forced and decisive vote of the Christian Democratic executive. 31 of its members voted in favor of Laschet, but six abstained and nine spoke in favor of Söder. An endorsement of the Bavarian leader, which had previously been publicly expressed by the influential youth of the CDU and a significant number of Union deputies in the Bundestag. A poll by the first German public television channel ARD also made it clear that Söder was the people’s favorite. 44% of Germans spoke out in his favor and only 33% defended Laschet’s candidacy. More overwhelming the result of the poll among the followers of the Union: 72% in favor of the Bavarian and only 17% for the Rhenish. Criticism of the president of the Christian Democrats also for the confusing procedure for the election of the conservative candidate to the head of the German government. At no time were rules or guilds defined for a vote and the uncertainty and tensions among the conservatives increased as the days progressed without a clear decision.
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