In the election of the CDU/CSU parliamentary party leader at the end of september, long-time incumbent volker kauder (CDU) will have to face a fightback vote.
The previous vice chairman of the parliamentary group ralph brinkhaus (CDU) confirmed to the newspapers of the "funke" media group that he wants to run against the confidant of chancellor angela merkel (CDU).
Kauder, however, receives support from merkel and CSU leader horst seehofer, as the "spiegel" reported. The deutsche presse-agentur also learned that merkel assured the 68-year-old from baden-wurttemberg that she would propose him again as parliamentary group leader. Seehofer had promised kauder in conversation that he would support him.
Brinkhaus, a financial expert, told the "funke" newspapers: "yes, it is true: I have registered my interest for the upcoming election of the chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the bundestag. This should not be an unusual occurrence in a democracy."He had received "a lot of positive feedback" in his talks, said the 50-year-old tax consultant from gutersloh. It is unclear how strong his support is in the largest parliamentary group in the bundestag.
In the "bild" newspaper, klaus-peter willsch, a member of parliament critical of merkel, expressed his delight at brinkhaus’ ambitions. This was an "excellent choice". The CDU parliamentarian michael von abercron also spoke out in favor of brinkhaus’ candidacy and the "renewal at the top of the parliamentary group". His east german colleague sepp muller also wants to elect brinkhaus and thus "initiate a generational change".
Already after the disappointing result in the bundestag elections, kauder had been punished in the re-election of the parliamentary group leader. The baden-wurttemberg resident had received only 77 percent, after previously having approval ratings of mostly well over 90 percent. In 2013, he had even brought in 97.4 percent.
Brinkhaus has been in the bundestag since 2009 and has also been deputy chairman of the CDU in north rhine-westphalia since 2016. However, his own state association denies him the support. North rhine-westphalia’s premier and CDU federal vice president armin laschet (CDU) had said on thursday, "there is no need to replace kauder."Brinkhaus spoke neither with him, nor with the CDU regional organization or with the regional group in the bundestag about its plans, said laschet. He had brought himself into the conversation.