After the CSU fiasco in the federal elections, the internal revolt against the party’s chairman and prime minister horst seehofer is now in full swing.
Bavaria’s young union (JU) over the weekend became the first major party organization to openly call for the 68-year-old spatesten to retire next year. Seehofer stayed away from the state JU meeting in erlangen, but criticized a "continuous drumfire" against his person in a newspaper interview. The most promising successor candidate, markus soder, on the other hand, paid respect to the JU for their courage – but also assured that he would like to see a joint personnel solution for the future of the CSU.
"For success in next year’s state elections, a credible new start in terms of personnel is needed," reads a paper that was passed by a large majority at the three-day meeting of the CSU’s young party members. "For all the merits that horst seehofer has undoubtedly earned for the CSU, bavaria and germany over many decades, he must now pave the way for an orderly transition at the head of the state government."
Seehofer accused his critics in "bild am sonntag" of doing harm. "Although it was unanimously decided in the party executive that a discussion of personnel should not take place during the debate in berlin, since the federal election i have experienced a continuous drumfire against my person from within my own party," he complained. "This is unquestionably harmful."After the exploratory talks with the CDU, the FDP and the greens, there will be a "clear and unequivocal reaction from him".
Seehofer has been under massive pressure since the CSU plummeted to 38.8 percent in the federal election. Several CSU district executive committees have called internally for an "orderly" personnel transition. The personnel issues are to be officially clarified by the party congress in mid december.
Soder openly praised the JU. There are always state assemblies that have "an effect," said soder on saturday evening at the JU meeting. "I have great respect for what you show for responsibility, what courage you have, what you dare to do."The JU is showing backbone in the party. "Great job."
In his speech on sunday, soder then emphasized that he was counting on a joint solution for the party’s personnel lineup. It is his wish and hope "that we do it together," he said. "Politics is like soccer: you need strong individual players, but if the team spirit isn’t right, you won’t be successful."
Now the jamaika explorations should be conducted first, he stressed, but then there must be talk: internally, openly and honestly. There it does not go around personal ambitions or vanities. "It’s all about the CSU in bavaria. Everyone has to be measured by this, and I in particular," soder emphasized. The crucial question is: "what is the most successful and best formation for 2018??".
Seehofer had canceled his appearance in erlangen at short notice, as did CSU secretary general andreas scheuer. Seehofer excused this on saturday with the "historically important negotiations" about a jamaika coalition in berlin. For state JU chairman hans reichhart, it is nevertheless "an unusual occurrence for the party chairman to avoid discussion with the JU rank and file.
CSU vice president manfred weber urged the CSU to show "team spirit" and to behave decently in the upcoming personnel debate. Bavaria’s interior minister joachim herrmann also called on the CSU in erlangen to stand united: "we need less me – that goes for everyone".
Meanwhile, according to a new survey, the CSU continues to lose favor with voters: in a survey conducted by the insa institute on behalf of the "bild" newspaper (monday), the CSU now only has 37 percent of the vote.