September 29, 2017
Is the CDU about to rebel against Merkel?
The answer to this question is: not yet, but there are signs of growing discontent visible everywhere, as Spiegel Online notes. Many CDU members were shocked when they saw Angela Merkel dismiss the party’s worst result since 1949, pretend that nothing much of importance had happened, and claim that the CDU had reached all its strategic goals. Merkel left no one in doubt that this is all about her ability to remain in power.
The article notes that the process of alienation between Merkel and CDU activists has been going on for some time. The party will have no occasion to register its displeasure with Merkel until late 2018, when she is up for reelection as CDU leader. In the meantime, the discontent affects the second-tier, people like Volker Kauder, the CDU’s parliamentary leader. 25% of CDU MPs withheld their support for him.
The article reveals a frosty exchange inside the CDU’s executive committee, when Jens Spahn asked the questions for how long Kauder’s election would be valid. Since parliamentary leaders are normally elected for a parliamentary term, Spahn’s question was interpreted as the pre-announcement of a future coup. But Spahn is not alone. Especially among younger CDU politicians, the loyalty to Merkel seems to be ebbing. The younger generation are mostly to the right of Merkel. They are deeply eurosceptic. Another young politician mentioned in the article is Carsten Linnemann, head of the CDU’s SME group, who has been calling for his party to stick to existing rules - on immigration and the euro.