Dhe parliamentary group leader of the Union, Ralph Brinkhaus, decided not to stand again in favor of the future CDU leader Friedrich Merz. Brinkhaus announced this on Thursday evening in a letter to the members of the Bundestag from the CDU and CSU, which was available to the German Press Agency in Berlin. Brinkhaus proposes to elect the new parliamentary group leader on February 15th.
With the waiver, Brinkhaus avoids a conflict that threatened between Merz and him. The term of office as parliamentary group leader lasted for Brinkhaus only until April 30th. He had long expressed an interest in keeping the post. In the worst case, the party would have been threatened with an open struggle between the CDU parliamentary group leader and the new CDU party leader during the first three state election campaigns after the federal elections in Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia in March and May.
Brinkhaus writes that Merz informed him that he would definitely apply for the group chairmanship. “It’s no secret that Friedrich Merz and I have different opinions regarding the chairmanship of the parliamentary group, which we have not been able to resolve. I think we both have good reasons for our positions.”
“There must be no dissent that damages the Union – especially in view of the upcoming state elections, the results of which are so decisive for us,” added the parliamentary group leader. He therefore suggests clarifying things quickly and postponing the upcoming election of the group leader at the end of April “to the next plenary week, the
is to be brought forward to February 15, 2022″.
Brinkhaus announced that he would then no longer stand as a candidate for parliamentary group chairmanship. At the same time, he asked the MPs to “support and carry the new group leader in the same way that I was supported and carried by the group. Because this is the only way we will continue to be successful.”
He will “of course” remain in the parliamentary group as a member of parliament “and, as before, will contribute with great commitment and joy to the success of our joint Christian Democratic and Christian Social project”.
Most observers had expected that, with the clear result behind them, Merz would not only be able to reach for the parliamentary group chairmanship, but would have to reunite and rebuild the party after its historic defeat in the last federal election.