German elections, D – 16: Armin Laschet saddens his Bavarian allies

With the approach of the German legislative elections of September 26, The world keeps the campaign log. A daily update, with events, images, polls, clips, slogans, figures and keywords that allow you to follow and experience this electoral competition at the end of which Angela Merkel will leave power, after sixteen years in the chancellery.

The collapse of the CDU-CSU in the polls is fueling tensions between the two “brother parties” of the German right. Now, the Bavarian CSU openly claims that things would not be so if its president, Markus Söder, had been nominated in April as a candidate for the chancellery in place of Armin Laschet, his counterpart at the CDU.

“Of course we would be better off with Markus Söder”, CSU General Secretary Markus Blume told the Spiegel. “Armin Laschet must absolutely improve his image”, for his part said Alexander Dobrindt, the leader of the CSU in the Bundestag, on the airwaves of the radio Bayerischer Rundfunk.

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Since 1949, the “small” CSU (present only in Bavaria) and the “large” CDU (established in the other Länder) have always presented a common candidate for the Federal Chancellery. With two exceptions (in 1980 with Franz Josef Strauss and in 2002 with Edmund Stoiber), he has always been the leader of the CDU. This is again the case this year: in April, Markus Söder (CSU) announced that he was siding behind the candidacy of Armin Laschet (CDU).

The problem is that since this rally, and even before, Mr Söder’s popularity in opinion polls has far exceeded that of Mr Laschet. Hence the bitterness which is expressed among the Bavarian conservatives, in the style of “we told you so”.

As the CDU-CSU collapses in voting intentions and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is now in the lead, Markus Söder’s lieutenants no longer hesitate to say that the person responsible for this debacle is Armin Laschet in person. The president of the CSU himself finds it difficult to hide that he no longer believes in the victory of his camp. However, there is no question of changing the candidate two weeks before the ballot: despite their concerns, the Bavarian conservatives insist that they are counting on Armin Laschet to reverse the trend in the coming days, and in particular on the occasion of the second televised debate which l ‘will oppose the two other candidates for the chancellery, Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Sunday at 8:15 p.m. on the ARD and the ZDF.

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