Markus Söder or Armin Laschet: who will be the Union's candidate for chancellor?

Who will be the Union's candidate for chancellor? Political Berlin was also concerned with this question today. In the morning, Armin Laschet secured the support of the CDU board and once again reinforced his ambitions in a press conference.

Armin Laschet / CDU chairman

»Regarding this candidacy: I was very happy about the great support in the presidium, almost everyone spoke up, and the federal executive committee. Even those who might have chosen other candidates have agreed to support me. From all regional associations, from the associations. And I said to everyone: My position is clear and I have represented it for many years. I want a modern Germany. "

Anna Clauß / DER SPIEGEL

“As a political observer, I actually expected Markus Söder to put down my arms. Because he said at the joint press conference yesterday that he would accept the CDU's vote without resentment. And that's not what it looked like today. "

Because Markus Söder also formulated claims for the candidacy for chancellor today. Apparently, he does not want to accept the vote of the CDU presidency in favor of Laschet without a fight. A few hours after he appeared in front of the press, Söder explained:

Markus Söder / Prime Minister of Bavaria

»Usually it is like this: When the party executive makes a decision, there is a euphoric mood at the grassroots level. Everyone is happy that the decision has been made. At least I think there is still a need for discussion. And we have to synchronize that over the next few days. We have to listen. We live in a more modern form of democracy. Not 10, 20 or 30 people decide alone, but elections can only be won with the right broad support and active membership that is ready to fight, especially when things are tight, all the more so. "

Apparently, Söder continues to rely on his better poll numbers and also on his supporters within the Union. But at what price?

Anna Clauß / DER SPIEGEL

»I've been watching Markus Söder as a person and politician for ten years and I know how ambitious he is. And I know how hardworking he always is. And I know how much defeat bugs him. So it didn't surprise me that he didn't back down at first, but was apparently ready to fight for the candidacy. But I actually got to know him as a clever person and I didn't think it was strategically very smart what he is doing now to present himself as a kind of terminator for the CSU. At the end of the press conference he said seriously: "I'll see you again." That was the classic Schwarzenegger: "I'll be back". But in doing so he is really risking an open break within the Union. This commonality is now over. Even if he later becomes a candidate for chancellor, it is only about the price of conflict between the CDU and CSU. "

Markus Söder initially plays for time, does not want a hau-jerk procedure, as he says, but rather sound out the situation in peace. Can his plan work out and thus lead him to Berlin?

Anna Clauss / THE MIRROR

“After the CDU press conference, I would have said that Armin Laschet is clearly one step ahead and will become the Union's new candidate for chancellor. After Markus Söder's press conference, I have to say: the race is open. Even if it seems that no matter who it is in the end, the Union will actually gamble away the election victory, no matter whether with Söder or Laschet. But if the Union cannot pull together and it doesn't look like that for me, then it actually has no chance of a good election result in the Bundestag election, regardless of whether it is with Laschet or Söder. And that Markus Söder is ready, the unity of the Union, for which he has actually been campaigning for two years, that he is now ready to pulverize it, only to ultimately become the Union's candidate for chancellor. I was very surprised.«