The conservative MP Friedrich Merz has been elected leader of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and promises a “new beginning” for the party, which is still upset after its defeat in the Bundesliga elections last September.
Meltz was elected by 94.62% of the votes of the representatives at the CDU Party Convention after promising to form a “strong opposition” to the Social Democratic Party Prime Minister Olaf Scholz and his SPD-Green Liberal Union. I did.
His victory was a natural conclusion after he firmly defeated the other two candidates to win. Poll of CDU members in December. Although he has long enjoyed immense popularity among CDU ranks and files, senior party leaders have always been skeptical of his solid conservative political brand.
Mr. Meltz’s election is the end of a long period of introspection of the party, which has become accustomed to standing on the opposition bench for the first time in 16 years, and is the third in its history. Compared to the SPD’s 25.7, only 24.1% won in the September elections.
Meltz, who spoke to the delegation before the vote, launched a widespread attack on Schortz and accused him of lacking leadership. He demanded compulsory vaccination, but said he had not so far submitted a government bill to Congress on this issue. He is silent about the highest levels of inflation in 30 years. And despite the crisis at the Russian-Ukraine border, he has not yet traveled to Washington and Moscow.
“All predecessors … would have taken leadership in this situation,” he said. “They would have been in contact with their partners every day.”
Meltz became prominent in the 1990s, and his reputation as a liberal reformer with a talent for speech marked him as a rising star in the CDU. He became the leader of the Christian Democratic Union’s parliamentary group in 2000, but lost his job in a power struggle with Angela Merkel and left the federal parliament in 2009 to pursue a career in business. From 2016 to 2020, he chaired BlackRock Germany and worked to make him a millionaire.
Saturday’s election was Meltz’s third fortune. His last two bids on the CDU leadership ended with a slight defeat. First to Annegret Kramp Karenbauer in 2018, then to Armin Laschet, the former Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia in January last year. Both were considered moderates devoted to a practical course of Merkel’s centrist politics, but Merkel was a conservative and the CDU drifted too far to the left under his old rivals. I often complained that I was there.
In a speech on Saturday, Meltz said the election defeat included “a new beginning, a new opportunity,” and said he would try to boost the morale of the embarrassed party. He said his three missions as a leader were to form strong opposition, win four important local elections in Germany this year, and draft a new party program.
In his speech, Meltz said the CDU “protects the family” and “protects the Bundeswehr and our European and international obligations” and opposes the creation of an “overwhelming European federal state”. I set out a firm and conservative agenda.
He said the party’s job was not to “follow the spirit of the times” and identified one of his key priorities as a reform of the German Social Security System.
Recognizing the need to combat climate change, he struggled to highlight the difference between this issue, especially the state’s role in mitigating global warming, from the Schortz “traffic light” coalition.
Climate policy “cannot be implemented solely by finances, high taxes and surcharges,” he said. “It only works if we do business with us.”
“We know that the economy is not everything, but without a successful and competitive economy, we cannot green the country or maintain a long-term welfare system.” He said.
Friedrich Merz wins CDU leader election
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