Berlin (dpa) – Friedrich Merz, who lost in the election for the CDU chairmanship, has called on the delegates of the online party congress and the CDU members to support the new party leader Armin Laschet.
«I ask all delegates to take part in the final written vote and to give our new chairman Armin Laschet a strong vote. And then we go to work together, ”reads a letter from Merz to the CDU members that is available to the German Press Agency in Berlin.
After Merz Laschet offered on Saturday, shortly after his defeat, to take over the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the current government of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), he now wrote that a year ago the CDU leadership had proposed to him to work in the party very specifically. “I was and still am open to this thought.” Merz added: “At the same time, I very much regret that there were irritations around myself over the weekend in this context.” He wanted to make it clear: “Even without an office, I will keep my promise to continue working for the party.”
Merz’s advance had caused incomprehension even in the ranks of his supporters. Merkel immediately rejected Merz’s offer. As CDU chairman, she ousted Merz from the position of parliamentary group chairman in the Bundestag in 2002. The relationship between Merkel and Merz has since been considered broken.
The Union «needs unity and good cooperation, and we must fight together: for our convictions and for our country». If the party does not do this, “Germany threatens to slide into right-wing populism or green-left neo-socialism. Serious damage would be done to our country. ” Merz thanked his supporters: “
The y have worn me with great passion over the past few months.” Now the party congress has decided in favor of Laschet.
The CDU is used as a “power of the center, freedom, reason”, it must embody the upswing perspective. “Germany is about to make a comeback of innovations and is not leaving the future to America and China alone. That’s why the CDU can count on me in the future too. ”
The result of the postal vote, which is then required for legal reasons, is to be announced this Friday. In the Union, after the defeat of Merz, it is feared that the split within the CDU into a camp of more conservative Merz supporters and Laschet supporters will continue. Laschet basically advocates a continuation of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s (CDU) middle course.
CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak asked the delegates in an email to which Merz’s letter was attached to trust the new federal board elected at the party congress – “with Armin Laschet at the helm as team captain”. Together, they want to take on responsibility in a modern people’s party, “which is united in unity and acknowledges that politics must come from the center of society and not from its fringes.”