The CSU wants to enter the 2018 state election year with a dual leadership of markus soder and horst seehofer. Former finance minister soder (50) is expected to replace seehofer as bavaria's minister president by spring at the latest, and then lead the CSU into the state elections in the fall.
Seehofer wants to run again for party chair at the CSU party conference in december. It is conceivable that he will join the federal cabinet if a government is formed in berlin.
Barely ten weeks after the bankruptcy in the federal elections, the crisis-ridden CSU thus ends a bitter power struggle. "The work is done, seehofer said on monday after a meeting of the party executive board that lasted almost three hours. At the party conference in innurnberg, the 68-year-old can now hope for a good result thanks to the compromise, even though this year he was responsible for the CSU's worst result ever in a federal election, 38.8 percent.
Seehofer into the federal cabinet?
The personnel concept, which was unanimously approved by acclamation in separate meetings of the state parliamentary group and party executive committee, envisages handing over the reins of government to soder in the first quarter of 2018, depending on how the formation of the federal government progresses. For even if seehofer reacted evasively to journalists' questions about a change to the federal cabinet, the solution is now clear. Already after the failed jamaika soundings with FDP and grunen, chancellor angela merkel (CDU) had offered seehofer a post.
The decision to hand over the baton came only after massive pressure from within the party. Soder and he had promised to work well together, seehofer assured. But they were both aware that announcements were not enough, but had to be backed up by action. "We will both do that." One of the first joint decisions: secretary general andreas scheuer is to keep his post and also coordinate the state parliament election campaign.
The cure was made possible by the fact that seehofer's only potential opponent, interior minister joachim herrmann, had announced that he would not run for office. Until recently, the latter had left open the question of whether he would also apply for the office of prime minister. The parliamentary group gave seehofer, herrmann and soder a standing ovation at the end of the meeting.
Soder called on the CSU to stand united after the group meeting: "now we just have to look ahead and work hard." Politics is always a team effort, one person alone can't fix anything. "We can show new ways, I will try to bring my contribution, with work, with diligence." The important thing now is to stand up to history. For this, he said, it is important that the strongest work closely together. "It's about the legacy of straub, of stoiber, of many others, and it's also about the continuation of a very, very successful state policy by horst seehofer."
Herrmann announced that he did not want to join a future federal cabinet. The 61-year-old was the CSU's top candidate in the federal election and had long been considered for the post of federal minister of the interior. He wants to run for the state parliament again instead, he said. "Who knows me, woman: political commitment does not mean personal career ambition." Faction leader thomas kreuzer said the delegates were glad that herrmann would remain as interior minister.
Soder spoke of an "absolute strengthening" for the 2018 state elections, but he did not give any concrete details about his future cabinet, even when asked. It is still too early for that. The entire cabinet must be dismissed before a new prime minister can be elected.
"In principle, I have always spoken out in favor of a dual leadership, precisely because in the current situation in berlin it is very important that someone with the appropriate experience and assertiveness is on the spot", said economics minister ilse aigner. In bavaria, the absolute majority must now be defended. Aigner did not want to give a reason why she herself had not thrown her hat into the ring. "I assume that i will still play a decisive role in the future."
A portrait of the powerful minister-president soder: a winner with a lot of safeguards seehofer and soder have been bitter opponents for years. Only in the past few days, seehofer had repeatedly spoken positively about his minister. Seehofer explained: "i believe the reason for markus soder's appointment is primarily based on his work." Soder burns for bavaria, he burns for politics. The past should now be put to rest, because: "if you are not prepared to renew success, success will soon be gone."