Armin Laschet, the successor to Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has hinted at resigning as party leader after losing last month’s federal election to the Social Democrats (SPD).
The CDU leader announced he would offer to resign as chairman of the party on Thursday, stating that he was open to helping to reorganise the party after a disappointing election result that put the CDU and their Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) allies behind the Social Democrats for the first time since 2002.
Laschet spoke on the topic of realigning the party saying, “We will also tackle the personnel realignment of the CDU from chairman to praesidium to federal executive committee quickly,” German newspaper Die Welt reports.
He added that the CDU should also “make a new start with new personalities, whether in the government or in the opposition,” and announced a new party congress to be held but did not disclose a location or date.
According to the BBC, Laschet did not directly hand in his resignation but did state to CDU MP’s that he would be fine with resigning “if it works out better with other people,”
Friedrich Merz, a conservative in the CDU who previously ran for party leader, welcomed the move saying, “Armin Laschet today clears the way for the new beginning of the CDU. For this, he deserves respect, thanks and great recognition.”
German Elections: Merkel’s Party Suffers Worst-Ever Results https://t.co/14ROjzjw7x
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 27, 2021
The election results for the CDU were not only the first loss in nearly 20 years but were also the worst in the history of the party.
Laschet is not the first politician to attempt to succeed Angela Merkel as leader of the CDU and as German Chancellor. In 2018, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected CDU leader, defeating Friedrich Merz.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known by her initials AKK in Germany, was seen as a natural successor to Merkel but resigned in February of last year after stating that there was a lack of support among party members for her as the leader.
Negotiations for the next German coalition government are still ongoing, but CDU participation looks more and more unlikely, though not impossible, as the Social Democrats under Olaf Scholz have begun exploratory talks this week with the Green Party and the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP).