Merkel Faces Internal Party Conflict Over UN Migrant Pact

MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 11: Supporters of the right-wing populist group Pegida, holding a placard 'Merkel muss weg' ('Merkel Off') march on January 11, 2016 in Munich, Germany. Pegida and other right-wing activists have been quick to latch on to the New Year's Eve sex attacks in Cologne. Over 100 …
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a revolt within her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) as prominent members begin to oppose the UN migration pact recently rejected by several other countries.

Chancellor Merkel, who recently revealed that she would be stepping down as leader of the CDU next month, is facing challenges over her support for the controversial migrant pact from the more conservative element within the party, Kronen Zeitung reports.

One of the most prominent critics of the UN migration pact within the CDU has been Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, a conservative leader within the party who has put himself forward as a successor to Dr Merkel as party leader.

“The debate on the migration pact is still pending in the parliamentary group,” Spahn said over the weekend and added, “It is important that Germany retains its sovereignty to control and limit migration.”

Federal Chairman of the Values Union, a conservative group with the CDU, Alexander Mitsch also criticised Merkel saying, “After years of left-leaning and social democratisation under Merkel, the Union now has to regain a clear conservative profile.”

CDU Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer slammed the Merkel government for not providing a public debate on the migration pact saying that a lack of debate would only further help the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD).

“How can you act so technocratically with such a sensitive topic? The lesson from 2015 must be for the Federal Government: maximum transparency, information and discussion in Parliament and the public,” he said.

The Saxony CDU recently opened up the possibility of a coalition with the AfD following the region’s local election next year which was quickly slammed by Chancellor Merkel and CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer who said, “There will be no cooperation or coalition with the AfD. This is the decision in the Presidium and Federal Executive of the CDU.”

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, a close ally of Chancellor Merkel, is also a candidate to replace her as CDU leader.

So far, several countries including the United States, Hungary, and Austria have rejected the migration pact with the Czech Republic and others saying that they are likely to withdraw.

After Austria rejected the pact, the country’s populist Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache explained, “We are only responsible to our Austrian population as government officials. Austrian sovereignty has top priority for us, this must be preserved and protected.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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