The AfD wants to put candidates for the Federal President: Max Otte, CDU politician and head of the Union of Values. The Greens are appalled – Hans-Georg Maassen apparently too.
Berlin – The re-election of Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Federal President is considered safe – but of all things a hopeless candidate nomination by the AfD* could now fuel an internal dispute in the CDU*. Because the right-wing populists want to send a Christian Democrat into the race*. Namely the head of the right-wing Union of Values, Max Otte, which is also repeatedly viewed with suspicion within the CDU. He doesn’t rule out a candidacy.
AfD wants to nominate a CDU member as a candidate for the Federal President – the head of the Union of Values does not rule it out
“Being offered the candidacy for Federal President is one of the greatest honors that can happen to you,” said the CDU politician to the dpa when asked whether he would run for the AfD. “The office offers the chance to heal, to reconcile, to admonish. I consult with my family and think about it intensively.”
Previously, according to consistent reports by AfD Otte Spiegel and time online nominated as a candidate for the office of Federal President. In a joint conference call between the federal executive board and the state heads, a majority decided in favor of Otte, he reported Spiegel.
The AfD initially did not comment on the reports on Tuesday morning when asked, but announced a press conference for the afternoon. Criticism was not long in coming.
Presidential election: AfD scandal – Green tease, Maassen leaves the union of values
The Green parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann immediately targeted the newly elected CDU leader Friedrich Merz. “Values, attitude and a clear compass for our vibrant democracy are absent from the union of values,” she tweeted: “And now the CDU
and Friedrich Merz”? Party colleague Irene Mihalic asked the Union of Values itself how long they wanted to “passively watch” how Otte or Hans-Georg Maassen “would like to ally the Union with the AfD’s enemies of the constitution”.
But there are also crunches within the party. Former CDU General Secretary Ruprecht Polenz – most recently known for more liberal positions and a massive presence on Twitter – called for the short message service to declare membership in the Union incompatible with that in the Union of Values.
Even Maassen drew consequences: According to his own statements, he left the union of values. “For me it is completely unacceptable that the head of the Union of Values can be nominated by the AfD as a candidate for the office of Federal President and the Board of the Union of Values tolerates that,” he wrote in the right-wing short message platform Gettr. Maassen argued that the work of the Union of Values was being “discredited”.
Union of Values: Trouble for the CDU again and again
The Union of Values, which claims to have around 4,000 members, sees itself as representing the conservative current in the Union, but is not an official party structure. Internal critics have long accused Otte of wanting to move the union of values to the right and open it to the AfD.
Otte announced in an interview in 2017 that he wanted to vote for the AfD in the federal elections – also because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s (CDU) course. Until January 2021, the fund manager was chairman of the board of trustees of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation.
Otte has practically no chance of becoming President. Incumbent Frank-Walter Steinmeier is running for a further five years with the support of the governing parties and the Union. A good two weeks ago, the left had nominated the Mainz social doctor Gerhard Trabert as another candidate.
Presidential election: How does the choice of the head of state work?
The Federal Assembly* convenes on February 13 to elect the Federal President. It will have 1,472 members – the 736 members of the Bundestag and an equal number of people who send the 16 state parliaments. With the votes from the SPD, Greens, FDP and CDU/CSU, Steinmeier can almost certainly count on re-election.
Opposition parties have repeatedly entered their own candidates in the race for the highest office, even if this was hopeless. However, plans by Free Voter boss Hubert Aiwanger to nominate a candidate like him may have failed Munich Mercury* experienced. (dpa / fn) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.