The outgoing CDU chairman Armin Laschet described the lost federal election last year as a permanent burden for his party.
Berlin – “It’s still an open wound,” he said on Saturday at the digital party conference to elect a new federal executive. “And the scar will remain.”
“We’ve had a year like a rollercoaster ride,” said Laschet, who ran in the federal elections as the Union’s candidate for chancellor. It was clear at the beginning of 2021 that it would be “a difficult path” and “a tough election campaign”. But everyone was “hopeful” that the goal would be achieved – “we wanted to win the federal elections”. However: “These hopes have not been fulfilled.”
At the same time, Laschet was combative. The SPD claims that “the CDU is on the ground, the CDU is destroyed”. That is not true. “Don’t make a mistake,” Laschet called out to the political competition. “Dress warmly, the CDU is coming back.”
Laschet is convinced that the designated party leader Friedrich Merz is “just the right person” for this time of upheaval. He has “huge backing” in the party, he said with a view to Merz’s victory in the member survey for party leadership in December.
The outgoing party leader emphasized the need for intra-party solidarity and unity. It should no longer be “trumpeted into the world” from every committee meeting. It is also important to find “a new relationship” with the sister party CSU.
In the debate on Laschet’s speech, Merz was the only party congress participant to speak up – and was full of praise: Laschet had shown “great commitment” for the party. The CDU owes him a “great thank you”.