Armin Laschet won the election of the new president of the German Christian Democratic Union on Saturday. He won 521 out of 1,001 votes at the party congress. Commenting on his victory, the heads of other parties and the media point out that he faces a difficult task to unite the internally divided grouping. Donald Tusk, chairman of the European People’s Party, sent greetings to the participants of the CDU congress and also appealed for constancy “in our joint fight for free democracy”.
CSU (Christian Social Union) leader Markus Soeder congratulated Laschet wins the elections via Twitter. “Congratulations, Armin Laschet. I look forward to our cooperation! Together we will continue the EU’s success,” wrote the Bavarian prime minister, about whom the German press writes that he himself has ambitions to take office after Angela Merkel. Soeder has great results in polls regarding the appointment of the future chancellor.
Congratulations to the new CDU chairman
The candidate of the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) for Chancellor Olaf Scholz also congratulated Laschet on his victory and wished him good luck. “This year is difficult and will be a challenge for all of us,” the Federal Finance Minister tweeted.
According to Green leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, Laschet has great tasks ahead of him. Now, Chancellor Merkel must redefine the post-era Christian Democratic Union. “Germany is faced with big tasks, especially in connection with the coronavirus pandemic,” they noted and added that the CDU should set a course for consistent climate protection and ecological modernization of the economy.
After Laschet’s election, the liberal FDP (Free Democratic Party) counts on a joint government with the Christian Democrats. “A business-friendly policy for the hard-working center of society is also possible at the federal level,” said deputy head of the FDP parliamentary faction Michael Theurer.
“Bad news for Germany”
The chairman of the right-wing populist AfD (Alternatives for Germany) Joerg Meuthen assessed Laschet’s election as a continuation of Chancellor Merkel’s course: “Bad news for Germany: now it will continue ‘merkeling!’ – he wrote in a statement.
Left co-chairwoman Katja Kipping highlighted Laschet’s poor performance: “521 is only 20 votes above the minimum,” she wrote on Twitter. With 521 votes, Laschet obtained the support of just over half of the 1,001 delegates. The former leader of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Friedrich Merz, received 466 votes.
Comments in the media
“In martial arts, in wrestling, as well as in cage fights, there is a type of warrior ‘grinder’. The term comes from the English verb ‘grind’, which literally means: grinder. Grinder does not attract attention with spectacular actions, does not aim for a quick knockout, but slowly, continuously and with great persistence he destroys his opponents. He is easy to underestimate, which is why he is an unpleasant opponent. One of them is now the chairman of the CDU, “writes Christoph Hickmann, columnist for the weekly” Spiegel “.
“Armin Laschet refused to run anything like an election campaign in the CDU chairmanship race for a year. He had flaws in the coronavirus crisis, survived speculation as to whether Jens Spahn should become chairman. Then on Saturday he gave his life speech and won,” he added.
“Armin Laschet, like Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in 2018, surprised with an emotional, personal speech,” notes the Tageschau portal.
“Armin Laschet (…) gave the best speech in the difficult conditions of the party’s online congress. Given the many polls that gave him little chance, he obtained a surprisingly clear result. But from the point of view of ‘unity’ that was on everyone’s lips before the congress. the party is a sobering result. The party is divided, “writes” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung “.
“That day belongs to Laschet. But only this one. Since the fate of his predecessor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has shown that a successful CDU presidency does not guarantee a successful term. She, too, was a successful prime minister, and she has already proved that she can win the elections,” and also told the authentic story of Christian Democracy. But it has never been able to overcome or even soften the contradictions that tear the last genuine people’s party in Europe. Laschet will now have to prove that he can do better than Kramp-Karrenbauer “- the daily notes” Welt “.
Donald Tusk thanked the CDU
Donald Tusk, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), sent greetings to the participants of the congress of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) on Saturday. His speech was broadcast before the vote to choose the party’s new president, Armin Laschet.
Tusk thanked the CDU for its attitude during the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that if he were to indicate who to count on in difficult times, he would have pointed to the CDU without hesitation.
– Freedom, transparency, truth, common sense in the fight against authoritarian tendencies, corruption, lies and populism have been preserved largely thanks to the CDU – said the president of the EPP. They were a “blessing” for the whole of Europe, also for Germany’s eastern neighbors – he added and stressed: – As a Pole, I know what I am talking about.
In Tusk’s opinion, the fact that we managed to keep faith in the future of a united Europe was possible thanks to “your consistency, patience and – to put it bluntly – decency”.
He called for “constancy in the fight for libertarian democracy”
The head of the EPP also called for constancy “in our common fight for a free democracy”. He stressed that “difficult decisions will have to be made in the fight to defend common values.” – Your clear position will be decisive and therefore worth its weight in gold – he said.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / CHRISTIAN MARQUARDT / POOL