Don’t break with Merkel, Bavarian leader warns ahead of CDU leadership vote By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bavarian Prime Minister of State Markus Soeder removes protective mask ahead of so-called Interior Ministry summit during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Munich

BERLIN (Reuters) – Breaking with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies is not the way to win Germany’s federal elections in September, the leader of her Bavarian sister party said as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) prepares to elect a new one. leader on Saturday. Merkel, who resigns after the September elections, heads into the final months of her term with her conservative CDU fighting over how to position the party after 15 years of rule marked by her instinct for compromise. Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of the CDU, said it would be a mistake to break with its popular, consensus-oriented and centrist style of politics. “Anyone who believes that he can win the Bundestag elections by breaking up with Angela Merkel is fundamentally wrong,” Soeder told the Funke media group in comments published on Friday. His legacy must be preserved and combined with new ideas, he said. Friedrich Merz, a former Merkel rival who opposes the CDU leadership, wants to shift the party to the right. Merz faces Armin Laschet, prime minister of the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Norbert Roettgen, foreign policy expert. Both are more centrist than Merz. Soeder has voiced his support for Laschet, but can assume the role of conservative candidate to succeed Merkel if the winner of Saturday’s CDU vote fails. A poll by pollster Forsa for the RND news network released on Friday showed that 29% of voters would support Roettgen for the CDU leadership, 21% for Merz and 19% for Laschet. The leader will be elected at the digital congress on Saturday by 1,001 party delegates. Roettgen has suggested that if elected leader of the CDU he could back Soeder, who leads among conservatives in voter opinion polls, to run for chancellor of his CDU / CSU alliance, the Union. On the chancellor candidacy, Soeder told the Funke group: “The CDU, as an older sister, has the right of initiative. In the end, however, we decided together.”

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