Conservative ‘troublemaker’ Merz attacks Merkel after state elections

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In view of the massive losses of votes in the state elections in Thuringia, criticism within the CDU is becoming louder. Former parliamentary group leader Merz accused Merkel of inactivity. He is not alone with his criticism.

Former CDU parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel after the bad election results of the CDU in Thuringia. In an interview with ZDF television, he said that the appearance of the federal government was “grottenschlecht” (“grotesquely bad”). He had experienced at many events how great the displeasure about the coalition was. The focus of criticism there was that Merkel lacked “political leadership and clear statements”.

The Chancellor’s “inactivity and lack of leadership” had been laying itself over the country like “a carpet of fog” for years. “This is the main point of criticism that I perceive and share. This cannot go on like this.” He could not imagine that this kind of government in Germany would last another two years. As an example, Merz cited the discussion about the “Grundrente” (basic minimum pension) that has been going on for months.

Vice parliamentary group leader misses strong profile

The CDU deputy parliamentary group leader Carsten Linnemann also criticized the government’s work. The current unease could be counteracted “if the Grand Coalition in Berlin were able to deliver”. He also called the discussion about the basic pension a point of criticism.

Linnemann told Deutschlandfunk radio that he was missing a clear positioning of the CDU/CSU. “My party has had an argument for years – and that is Angela Merkel. In the process, it has been forgotten to point out differences in policy: What does the CDU/CSU stand for?”

Linnemann reiterated his support for party leader Kramp-Karrenbauer, but also demanded a stronger profile from the party leader. It was a good thing “that we had this discussion at the time and came up with a clear position on migration and integration policy. But that is not enough.”

JU apparently asking leadership question

Criticism of the party leadership apparently also came from the CDU’s youth organisation. Its leader, Tilman Kuban, is said to have posed the “leadership question” to the federal executive. Many interpreted this as an attack on the CDU leader. Kuban tried to smooth the waves later by stating he had not questioned Kramp-Karrenbauer’s chairmanship. Rather, he had aimed his statement at the future candidate for chancellor.

Kuban emphasized that the primary election demanded by the Young Union must not shy away from Kramp cart builders. The Junge Union supported her in renewing the CDU after 14 years of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship.

Kubicki: Neither format for party leader nor candidate for chancellor

Wolfgang Kubicki, vice-chairman of the FDP, however, denied Kramp-Karrenbauer the format “for a party leader and also not for the chancellor candidacy”. He told the “Passauer Neue Presse” that the Syrian initiative of the CDU chairmen one week before the election in Thuringia had been “instinctless”. She had thus “massively damaged” the CDU during the election campaign.

Kubicki said that Kramp-Karrenbauer had “no authority left” in her own party. “The CDU is following the SPD and is experiencing a “dramatic decline”. According to him, both parties ought to ask themselves the question of future leadership.

After Merz’s criticism of Merkel, FDP deputy parliamentary group leader Michael Theurer spoke of a “scathing critique” that Merkel “could not shrug off as retaliation of a long-standing internal rival”. Theurer told the German Press Agency that “the failure and internal dissension of the Merkel team and the leadership failure and disorientation of the team leader” was too obvious.

Major losses in Thuringia

The CDU in Thuringia had sunk to the historic low of 21.8 percent on Sunday. The Christian Democrats thus ranked third behind Linkspartei and AfD. In view of the unclear majority, top candidate Mike Mohring now wants to accept an invitation to talks from Die Linke Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow. However, he rejected a coalition with the Left Party.

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