|Angela Merkel / Friedrich Merz|
CDU marching towards the Right or the Far Right?The repercussions of what happened during the last Federal Elections and of two consecutive state elections - Bavaria and Hesse - are spreading. Angela Merkel's announced departure both as party leader and as Chancellor (she will be withdrawing from public office and not standing in elections) come together with the debate of who is going to succeed her firstly as party leader and later on as candidate to become German Chancellor. Let's look at positions maintained by one of the most probable contenders for leadership of CDU:
This shows why Friedrich Merz might be a very attractive choice. CSU tried somehow to take on board part of Alternative für Deutschland's agenda in a desperate effort to avoid defeat but was defeated anyway. It was so obvious that it looked like a cynical attempt. Now, the change would be taking place not in Bavarian CSU but in CDU. If CDU adopt similar o identical policies to those proposed by Alternative für Deutschland, voters might decide to vote for the real thing instead of voting for a copy of the real thing that opened the floodgates and created the problems that led to consecutive electoral defeats.
The question is: once the successor is chosen, will whoever is chosen be an ally or a rival of Angela Merkel? How safe her position will be after December 2018? Will she be in power until March 2019? What about her political backing in terms of negotiations? Will her successor be inclined to alliances that go against party policies? Too many coalitions and too much uncertainty at a time when unity and clarity are key in any decision making process.