The CDU wants to “reposition itself”. But questions remain unanswered when it comes to Armin Laschet’s future. General Ziemiak avoids several times in the “topics of the day”.
Berlin / Hamburg – After its historic election debacle, the CDU has decreed a comparatively radical renewal: the entire board is to be re-elected at a party congress this year.
So complete upheaval? It is obviously not that clear (yet). Ironically, when asked about the future of party leader Armin Laschet, General Secretary Paul Ziemiak had to row around four times under major contortions to get a clear answer – once at the press conference following the committee meetings. And three times in an interview in the ARD “Tagesthemen” in the evening. The background could be coalition tactical considerations – or the very own plans of the elected party leader Laschet.
Armin Laschet: Chancellor? Party leader? Ziemiak has to grapple with agonizing questions
Already early on Monday afternoon, Ziemiak had been asked whether Laschet might not be able to run again at the newly scheduled party congress. Ziemiak replied rather vaguely, that the party chairman made a clear statement. The well-meant “reorganization” press conference by Laschet last week, however, was widely criticized as requiring interpretation.
Around nine hours later in the “Daily Topics”, the CDU general secretary made only one clear statement with a view to Laschet – and immediately afterwards raised doubts again. “So the whole party leadership should be re-elected – just to understand: That definitely includes the chairman and Armin Laschet will definitely not remain party leader?” Asked moderator Ingo Zamperoni. “That’s right,” said Ziemiak.
Inquiries about possible chancellor ambitions or Laschet remaining at the top of the CDU, however, Ziemiak avoided several times. Because Zamperoni inquired about the procedure of the CDU in the event of a burst of the traffic light probes.
“Not only the Union has Armin Laschet’s number, also the FDP and the Greens, and they know who to turn to,” said the CDU General Secretary. “That is exactly what I mean!”, Zamperoni added, all of which sounds like “time gain”, he judged and reworded: “If Armin Laschet became Jamaica Chancellor, would he remain party leader?” “We will now speak to the district chairperson first,” was the answer. It is not about personnel issues, but about the right thing for the country.
Coalition poker with Laschet: Ziemiak evades the question of the chancellor
“To understand again: Even with such a battered Armin Laschet as he is currently, you would try to win the chancellorship – or would you then send another candidate into the race?” Ziemiak avoided again. First you want to talk about content. Zamperoni followed up a third time: won’t there be any personnel changes if Jamaica becomes a real option? “We would then talk about how we would position ourselves in a possible federal government,” replied the CDU General Secretary. Laschet is currently the contact person and will remain so.
The SPD, the Greens and the FDP are currently negotiating a traffic light coalition. The “citrus coalition” made up of the Greens and Liberals did not start talks with the Union for the time being. It is actually not clear whether and how a departing party leader Laschet could negotiate a coalition agreement for another successor to the chairmanship or even chancellor. Nevertheless, there is no immediate replacement in sight: the CDU has set the end of 2021 as the time horizon for determining a party leadership.
Laschet and the CDU: “New legitimation” with old staff? Party leader is silent
One possible interpretation for the discrepancy between the confirmation that Laschet would by no means remain party leader and the maneuvering around an answer to further questions, by the way, Ziemiak also allowed between the lines: “It was clear to us that the entire federal executive had to be re-elected, he needs a new legitimation “, he explained in the” Tagesthemen “when asked. At noon, Ziemiak had already made it clear that the new legitimation sought does not have to be synonymous with a complete replacement of the staff. The General Secretary will also be re-elected, he said at the press conference. However, he did not associate his own withdrawal announcement with it.
Perhaps Ziemiak’s confirmation of Laschet’s future was referring to the little word “remains” and the fact that the party leader is formally re-elected – although in view of current surveys it can be assumed that the CDU base has no great interest in confirming Laschet in office . The CDU party leader himself could create clarity, but recently kept a low profile. The press conference on Monday denied Ziemiak alone – a “usual” procedure, as he emphasized. For the time being, there is also silence on Laschet’s Twitter account. As of Tuesday noon, the last post was from October 6th. (fn)