CDU politician ralph brinkhaus wants to unseat long-time incumbent volker kauder in the election of the new CDU/CSU parliamentary group chairman in the bundestag.
The current vice chairman of the parliamentary group has asked chancellor angela merkel (CDU) to propose him as a candidate for the presidency, the deutsche presse-agentur learned in berlin on wednesday from circles within the union parliamentary group.
Previously, the "welt" had reported that the 50-year-old deputy and financial expert from gutersloh was considering running against kauder, but had left that open in a conversation with him on monday. Brinkhaus did not want to openly declare his ambitions.
Kauder, who has led the parliamentary group since 2005, wants to run for office in a fight. The 68-year-old close runner-up to merkel told the "welt" newspaper when asked if he would have an opposing candidate: "that may be. But I’m running on the 25th. September in every case."
Kauder had already been punished in the re-election of the parliamentary group leader after his disappointing performance in the bundestag elections. The baden-wurttemberger had received only 77 percent, having previously had approval ratings of well over 90 percent in most cases. In 2013, he had even brought in 97.4 percent.
Brinkhaus has rarely been more rude in public before. He caused a stir in berlin in the spring when he strongly criticized the proposals of france’s president emmanuel macron for an eu reform. Among other things, he spoke out against a common truth fund and a finance minister for the eurozone. Brinkhaus has been in the bundestag since 2009 and has also been deputy chairman of the north rhine-westphalian CDU since 2016.
A group of critics of merkel within the union warned the CDU chairwoman to prevent a fight for the party chairmanship. "It is a devastating signal if the impression is given from above that another candidate for the chairmanship of the parliamentary group is unwanted," the chairman of the conservative values union told the "augsburger allgemeine" newspaper. He was pleased about brinkhaus’ ambitions. "It is in the interest of the union to show that it has a lot of smart people who are willing to take on responsibility."