DThe Bremen CDU must look for another top candidate for the next general election. The state chairman Carsten Meyer-Heder announced on Thursday evening that he would not lead the party again in the 2023 election campaign. With the career changer from the IT industry, the Bremen CDU managed to replace the SPD as the strongest party for the first time in the 2019 election.
The entrepreneur with the striking bald head did not always show himself to be solid in the political fields during the election campaign, but scored with a fresh appearance and the best campaign.
After the election, Meyer-Heder’s bad luck was that the Greens – despite a 1.8 percentage point lead over the CDU – did not want to bring about a change of power. They preferred to continue handing the key to the town hall to the punished SPD. The Social Democrats took action, nominated a new mayor in Andreas Bovenschulte and expanded the existing coalition to include the Left Party.
For the CDU, the only thing that remained was the opposition. As an energetic entrepreneur, Meyer-Heder found it particularly difficult to only be allowed to critically comment on other people’s decisions. Meanwhile, his internet company continued to expand strongly in the wake of the pandemic.
On Friday, the 60-year-old politician announced that he had decided against another top candidacy “mainly for professional reasons”. In May, however, he would stand for re-election as state chairman in order to further advance “the path of modernization, rejuvenation and promotion of women” in the CDU.
“I’m glad that Carsten Meyer-Heder remains at the head of the CDU,” commented the parliamentary group leader Heiko Strohmann on this decision. Because with a view to the difficult starting position of the Union in large cities like Bremen, the party is still faced with the task of “repositioning ourselves sustainably,” says Strohmann. Meyer-Heder started this process and will continue to drive it forward.
Strohmann points out that the Bremen CDU state board is already made up of equal numbers of men and women and that parity will also be created on the list for the state elections. In addition, they were the first CDU state association to adopt a climate protection program.
However, it is questionable whether the CDU will have better chances in the upcoming elections. In 2019, the SPD was politically on the ground, and the opinion polls of the then mayor Carsten Sieling were not good either. Sieling’s successor Bovenschulte is much more offensive and can also point out that Bremen is exceptionally not at the bottom when it comes to fighting the pandemic in a comparison of other countries, but is right at the front. However, the CDU points out that the high vaccination rate is also related to the large number of commuters from Lower Saxony who were vaccinated near their workplace but are listed as Bremen residents in the statistics of the Robert Koch Institute.
The CDU has not yet announced which top candidates it is relying on in the early summer 2023 election. But the decision should be made soon. Meyer-Heder’s statements can be understood as an indication that the talks are currently heading towards a woman. For 25-year-old Wiebke Winter, a member of the CDU Federal Executive Committee from Bremen and co-founder of the “Climate Union”, a candidacy is still too early.