CDU presidency member Norbert Röttgen calls for personnel consequences and a fresh start after the defeat of chancellor candidate and party leader Armin Laschet.
This process must take place whether the Union is involved in government or goes into opposition, Röttgen said in an interview with Tagesspiegel. “If that’s clear, we should also talk about a personnel redeployment,” Röttgen indirectly made it clear that from his point of view Laschet is only party leader on call.
[Das komplette Interview lesen Sie bei Tagesspiegel Plus: Röttgen rechnet mit Laschet ab: „Es reicht nicht, nur eine Person auszuwechseln“]
You have to honestly say what everyone already knows: “The lack of acceptance of the candidate was the main topic of discussion in the election campaign. Armin Laschet knows that too.”
Röttgen stressed in view of the CDU chairman that it was not enough to “change just one person”. The renewal process must be comprehensive: “Party, faction, content, communication, personnel.” Former Federal Minister of the Environment and current Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. At the beginning of the year, Röttgen had unsuccessfully applied against Laschet and Friedrich Merz for party leadership.
He has long been considered a critic of Laschet and had favored CSU boss Markus Söder as the Union’s candidate for chancellor.
Röttgen made it clear that from his point of view, Laschet still has to hold the upcoming talks: “At the moment, the point is that we have to be ready and able to talk. We do that in the personal situation that the party has chosen.” Regardless of Laschet’s attempts to explore forming a Jamaican coalition with the FDP this Sunday and the Greens on Tuesday, Röttgen sees little chance of that. “We have no government mandate. The preference for the formation of a government lies with the SPD as the strongest force.”
Laschet scolded citizens with “shouts”
He demanded – without naming Laschet – dealing with defeat more honestly. “Two things are part of fairness: first, the SPD is the strongest party and thus the winner of the elections. Secondly, not only do we have the worst result historically, but at only 19 percent we risk losing our status as a people’s party,” emphasized Röttgen. “We have not won a single direct mandate in five federal states. We are 10 percent of the first voters. That is the alarming finding and an existential danger for us as a people’s party.”
[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
He accused Laschet of having had no substance in the election campaign. “It must be clear to us that we cannot shoot citizens with slogans that do not betray a substantive thought. We have to move from the buzzword level, from “modernization” and “unleash” and “economy plus ecology”, to a specific level.
Because people also feel their fears and expectations concretely,” says Röttgen. “The failure to offer three or four well-thought-out points of interest complemented the personal weakness with a substantive weakness, rather than trying to balance one with the other.”
In addition, Laschet bet on the wrong team. “That’s part of the tragedy.” In his field of activity in the Foreign Affairs Committee Röttgen emphasized that highly competent CDU members worked there and that was the case in other areas as well.
“In principle, it is good if we bring in external expertise, but in the election campaign, union politicians should stand for core Christian Democrat issues such as internal and external security – and no professor from Londonhe said in view of Laschet’s choice to appoint terrorism expert Peter Neumann to his future team.
Future membership decision on candidacy for chancellor
In addition, he called for a Member’s decision on controversial decisions within the Union, such as the candidacy for chancellor. The same goes for contending candidates for the CDU presidency. “We must learn that important personnel issues such as a candidate for chancellor cannot be pushed through with a majority of the committee – against the majority of MPs, members, the public.”
He also criticized too much independence, an emaciated content and a lack of feeling for people’s concerns. “In the middle, for people with decent incomes, the state strikes with taxes, fees and bureaucracy, plus high rents and land prices in the cities,” Röttgen said.
“Here, among the top people in our society, worries, anger and fears arise. They are stuck in traffic in the morning, can barely buy a house of their own, need childcare and have no understanding of the lack of quality in public schools. That is the major social danger zone.”