CDU chairmanship: Friedrich Merz presents his team for the candidacy – politics

The former Union parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz has officially declared his candidacy for the CDU federal chairmanship. He wants to score points with an unusual team solution for the office of Secretary General. The 66-year-old wants to make the former Berlin Social Senator Mario Czaja Secretary General – and also create the new post of Deputy Secretary General. For this purpose, Merz has chosen the former Baden-Württemberg local politician Christina Stumpp. Both candidates at Merz’s side had won their constituency directly in the federal election.

Merz is running for the third time in a row as party leader, he has lost twice so far. But he now sees a different starting position. “Almost everything is different this time,” he said on Tuesday. This time the members would be involved and the CDU would be fairly certain in the opposition. Merz also emphasized: “There will be no shift to the right in the Union with me.”

In contrast to the conservative Merz, his candidate for the post of General Secretary is a declared member of the Christian Democratic Workforce (CDA). Mario Czaja had surprisingly accepted the direct mandate from Bundestag Vice-President Petra Pau (left) in the election on September 26 in the Berlin district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf. Since 1993 he has been active in local politics in Berlin. In 1999 Czaja won the direct mandate in the election for the Berlin House of Representatives in the constituency of Kaulsdorf-Mahlsdorf.

From 2011 to 2016, Czaja worked as Senator for Health and Social Affairs in the capital – after more than ten years as health policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group in the House of Representatives. The trained insurance salesman completed a part-time business administration degree in 2010. He has been President of the German Red Cross Berlin on a voluntary basis since November 2018. Czaja is married and has one daughter.

The 34-year-old is to become the deputy general secretary

Christina Stumpp, who turned 34 on Tuesday, also won the direct mandate in the federal election in her constituency of Waiblingen. So far, the politician is largely unknown in Berlin. In Baden-Württemberg she gained a lot of experience in local and state politics.

According to his own information, Stumpp is deputy district chairwoman of the CDU Rems-Murr and deputy chairwoman of the CDU in the Stuttgart region. After studying tax law, she worked in the Waiblingen city administration and later in the local tax office. Stumpp has worked in several Baden-Württemberg ministries since 2012, most recently as a personal advisor to Agriculture Minister Peter Hauk. Stumpp is married and has one son.

The nomination deadline expires on Wednesday

In addition to Merz and his team, the foreign politician Norbert Röttgen, who like Merz comes from North Rhine-Westphalia, and the previous head of the Chancellery Helge Braun from Hesse are in the running for the CDU chairmanship. After the defeat in the federal election, the party wants to ask the members for the first time in December who will be the new party leader and thus successor to Armin Laschet. Only those who are nominated by a state, district or district association or one of the CDU federal associations can compete.

The nomination period expires on Wednesday. If none of the candidates receives an absolute majority in the first ballot, there will be a runoff election for the first two from December 29th. After polling the grassroots, the CDU wants to elect the new party leadership at a federal party conference in January.

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