Germany: CDU/CSU search for right wing leader

Chris Burford cburford at
Thu Mar 2 23:46:26 PST 2000

At 14:35 01/03/00 +0100, Johannes wrote:

>> The IHT sketches the line up, that Ruehe is representing the more
>> conservative wing of the CDU, and enjoying the rightist support of Stoiber
>> and the CSU of Bavaria. Angela Merkel from the former DDR is seen as
>> without the traditional CDU network connections, and symbolising the
>> possibility of splitting the CDU on gender, generational and ideological
>> lines.

>Before the governor of the state of Hesse, Koch, looked like the coming man
>of the conservative wing of the CDU, but he is deeply involved in the
>funding scandal. Most of the other younger politicians of the are more or
>less associated withe the 'left' wing of the CDU. Thus the CDU right is
>without any leader. Ruehe is more of a wheeler-dealer type than anyone who
>has strong convictions. Furthermore he was a close Kohl colaborator, at
>times he served as his general secretary.
>What Angela Merkel stands for is not so clear, but its obvious the CDU left
>around Geissler and Süessmuth are putting great hopes into her. Since she is
>the only hope for the CDU, she is loved by the ordinary CDU members.
>At the moment it looks as if she will be the next chairperson. But
>traditonally CDU inner party politics are full of intrigue and there is
>certainly going to be a revolt against Merkel if she will make any error.
>Something not to be underestimated is the outright hatred within the CDU
>against anything from the East. Beeing a woman wont make things easier for

Stoiber, head of the Bavarian CSU appears to have been active in trying to find a right wing alternative to Merkel (right wing - all these terms are relative no doubt). He was very much associating himself with Ruehe before the Schleswig-Holstein Land election.

However within the last couple of days he was reported to have had a meeting with Ruehe, and Biedenkopf, the CDU head of Saxony, promoting the latter. Biedenkopf it seems is an older distinguished figure, who would presumably keep Angela Merkel out of the top job until the right can regroup. Interestingly he too comes from the East, so it would finesse the issue of East-West prejudice.

However, again, I was suprised to see that another politician from the CSU has publically backed Merkel, and this morning teletext reports colleagues of Stoiber that he may have to give up his attempt to stop Merkel.

Can this really mean that the CSU is not one smug Bavarian reactionary monolithic bloc??

And that it is sensitive enough to realise that its larger sister party, the CDU, may resent a candidate, whom the CSU pushes too strongly?

Chris Burford


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