Friedrich Merz: "Not the favorite of some of the party leadership"
Photo: Adam Berry / Getty Images
Friedrich Merz has once again ventilated his displeasure with the postponement of the CDU party congress in various media.
The cancellation of the event, which was actually planned for December 4th, and thus the delay in the election of a new party leader was "the last part of the 'prevent Merz' campaign," said Merz to the "Welt".
This action is going "with the full broadside of the establishment here in Berlin," said the candidate for party leadership.
During the deliberations over the weekend, he proposed a digital party convention followed by a postal vote for a new chairman, which is legally possible.
The party leadership of the Union rejected this, however, because the result would then be known in the run-up to Christmas.
"This cannot be expected of the population," said Merz of the content of the talks.
It's not about his person, said Merz in the ARD “Tagesthemen”.
He has had good poll numbers for two years, and this will continue for weeks and months.
He did not sense a conspiracy against him within the party.
However, it is no secret that "I am not the darling of part of the party leadership," said Merz.
But he will persevere and not "allow himself to be worn down by this process," said the politician on ZDF "heute journal".
The 64-year-old is also otherwise combative.
"In the polls, I have more approval than my two competitors put together," Merz told the "Welt".
The party base wanted "majority" his person for the chair.
From the beginning he assumed "that the struggle to reorient the CDU will be a tough power struggle," said Merz.
"We have now entered the final phase of this power struggle."
Merz apparently fears that the postponement has taken place so that the other candidates can improve their chances of becoming party chairman.
He has "very clear, unambiguous indications that Armin Laschet has issued the motto: He needs more time to improve his performance", Merz told the "Welt".
Mandates of party congress delegates expire
It is about the party's ability to work and act, said Merz, also with a view to December 7th.
The mandates of many party congress delegates ended on that date.
Many meetings would then have to be held to elect new delegates.
The term of office of the current board is also running out.
The former Union parliamentary group leader also referred to the dwindling time until the federal election.
"We're running out of time," warned Merz in the "Daily Topics".
Monday's decision can still be corrected.
There is still time until November 4th to convene the party congress.
"Like preparing for an exam"
Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus, on the other hand, defended the postponement of the CDU party congress.
"When weighing up the advantages and disadvantages, health simply comes first," said the CDU politician of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung".
In the ARD "Morgenmagazin", however, he also expressed understanding for Merz 'frustration.
"I can understand that. It's like preparing for an exam. And then the exam date is postponed. Then of course you're angry," said Brinkhaus.
CDU federal vice-president Silvia Breher also contradicted Merz.
The postponement of the party congress is not about "people and political calculation," she told the Oldenburg "Nordwest-Zeitung".
"In the current pandemic situation, we simply cannot hold a party conference in attendance. The other options will now be clarified and decided on December 14," explained Breher.
Norbert Röttgen, who is applying for the chair alongside Merz and the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet, described the renewed postponement of the electoral party conference due to the corona pandemic as bitter, but welcomed it in principle.
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