January 16 The Christian Democratic Union, a subsidiary of German Chancellor Merkel, held the 33rd National Party Congress.
Affected by the epidemic, the two-day party congress was held online.
The most high-profile agenda is undoubtedly the election of the new party president, because the next party president of the CDU is likely to become the successor to Merkel Federal Chancellor in the Bundestag election in September this year.
In her video message that night, Merkel sighed that this was her 14th time as the Federal Chancellor and the last time she attended the meeting in that capacity.
Merkel served as the chairman of the CDU Party from 2000 to 2018, and has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005.
Three years ago, Merkel, who was in her fourth prime minister’s term, announced that she would give up her re-election as the chairman of the CDU and would not seek re-election as the federal prime minister in the future.
Subsequently, Krankp-Karenbauer, supported by Merkel, was elected as the party chairman at the end of 2018 and was once considered to be the candidate for the next German Chancellor.
However, in February 2020, Krankp-Kallenbauer announced his resignation as chairman of the party due to the storm of the Thuringia gubernatorial election.
Since then, due to the epidemic and other factors, the party congress to elect a new chairman has been repeatedly postponed.
On that day, only five CDU representatives, including the current party chairman Kramp-Karenbauer and Secretary-General Zimjak, appeared at the physical venue in the Berlin exhibition hall, and everyone was tested for the novel coronavirus in advance.
In addition to Merkel, Soder, chairman of the sister party of the CDU, and the European Commission President von der Leyen also participated in the video link of the 15th party congress.
Only five senior CDU leaders appeared in the physical venue on the 15th.
The CDU president currently has three candidates, namely Amin Raschet (59), Friedrich Mertz (65 years old) and Norbert Rötgen (55 years old).
Raschet is the governor of North Wales, a large population and industrial state in Germany, and is closest to Merkel’s political views. Public opinion analysis said that although Mertz temporarily gained higher support in the latest poll, the senior leadership of the CDU party favors Rashet.
However, as the governor of North Wales, the hardest hit by the epidemic, Raschet was once criticized for his ineffective fight against the epidemic and fell behind significantly in polls.
Originally, he invited Federal Health Secretary Spahn, a popular politician who even surpassed Merkel’s support in the polls, to become his running mate and got a strong help.
However, in the recent response to the epidemic, Raschedt questioned the federal government’s epidemic prevention policy and lifted the blockade of North Wales in advance, which can be said to be in the opposite of Spán.
Coupled with the fact that the outside world is also optimistic about Schpan’s candidacy for prime minister, it is not clear whether the two have emerged.
Mertz, a lawyer, has served as the chairman of the parliamentary caucus of the Union Party. He is a long-time critic of Merkel’s policy. Since 2009, he has gradually retired to the second line and joined the business community.
In 2018, Mertz returned to politics after Merkel announced his departure, and there were more conservative supporters at the grassroots level of the party.
However, the outside world believes that the polarization of his attitude within the party is relatively serious.
Mertz’s campaign slogan is “Rejuvenation of the CDU”, claiming to lead the party to regain its absolute advantage and usher in a new political and economic atmosphere through reform.
Retgen has been chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag since 2014.
He was the Minister of Environment, but was criticized by Merkel and removed from the cabinet for leading the CDU in the defeat in the North Wales parliamentary election in 2012.
Retgen is characterized by youth and reform, pays attention to climate policy, is active on social media, is good at winning votes from young people and women, and is committed to promoting the “modernization process of the CDU”.
The chairman of the CDU Party currently has three candidates.
It is reported that the three candidates will give 15 minutes of campaign speeches on the morning of the 16th local time.
1001 CDU representatives will then conduct up to two rounds of electronic voting and announce the results of the vote on the spot.
On the 22nd, the CDU will confirm the final voting results in combination with mail-in ballots.