Friedrich Merz is currently developing as a group leader. Problem: The grueling debate as party leader is now catching up to him. Ironically, his most devoted fans put him in the most danger.
You can see a lot of grins in the CDU and CSU parliamentary rows on Wednesday morning, MPs pushing their blue Bundestag seats back and forth, clapping, smiling. Friedrich Merz in front of the lectern. He speaks of the shock of proposals, of madness, his sentences as if formed with a glass cutter: sharp, angular, precise. Friedrich Merz is in great shape.
Warm-up for possible prime minister
He had to wait a long time for such moments. Almost 20 years have passed since Angela Merkel was sacked from her role as faction leader. In the third attempt, she then tried to take him over at the top of the party and later, like Merkel at the time, took the parliamentary caucus presidency quite roughly due to her position of power.
And if that’s what he wants, he’s probably just getting used to his role as the sharp-tongued opposition leader. The final game of his career for the grand finale: a possible chancellery.
Its most staunch supporters of all people can now put obstacles in its way at the party conference in Hanover on Friday and Saturday. And so it slows down the run it’s currently running. It was his fan base like Junge Union and Mittelstandsunion that also supported Merz’s attempt to become a third party leader; After all, it was his longing to return to the conservatives, to get away from Merkel’s arbitrary course, that brought him to office.
Women’s quota will be implemented under Merz
Merz’s problem: This longing now wants to be satisfied. Its supporters are demanding refunds, and nowhere is this more evident than in the women’s quota. Ironically, under ‘his’ Friedrich Merz, this quota will be introduced gradually and for a limited time, albeit only as a ‘second best solution’, as Merz never tire of emphasizing.
But with this label, and despite Merz formulating this position before the election, resistance to it remains high in much of the party. And so, opponents of the quota (and especially opponents) hope to prevent it from getting a secret ballot.
Women’s quota angers Merz supporters
How fierce this resistance was can also be seen in the anger of many at another decision: A key component of the post-Merkel CDU’s re-Christian democratization is to be a new core program, but in a draft submitted for this purpose, the “Statement of Core Values” was found Toxic sentence with potential: You are working for this, it is recorded that “gender equality and equality between men and women will be achieved”.
Equal rights, equality – for many this sounds synonymous, but as those who argue above all with the Christian image of the human being, mean two very different concepts. Equality means equal starting opportunities. Equality, on the other hand, defines the result – for example, through a quota.
The fact that the second principle, which has always been part of the Greens’ DNA, is now all people’s incorporation into the CDU core values under party leader Merz, angered many of his longtime supporters. . This resentment can also be foiled at the party congress, including the quota vote.
Merz belittles the women’s quota as “quote light.”
So it’s understandable that Merz tried to downplay the recently requested edit as a kind of “quota light” that you should try now. It was a coded “do not disturb” call to his own party. Because there is so much at stake for him: If the application fails, it gives the impression that Merz is not in control of his shop.
And the party congress would not have signaled that the (better) ruling party would be ready in a historical crisis – but paralyzed by self-invasion. Merz’s run would be stopped—and what harm would it do specifically: to himself. As has been happily stated in the SPD over the years – this has rendered every single stage of weakness in Merkel unusable thanks to the always reliable self-mutilation.
A longing for missions deep in the CDU’s DNA
There is reason for hope – from Merz’s point of view – but not without a point. He knows his party well. And she knows that the longing for power and office is as great as the longing for conservatives, and paradoxically now can hope for something that Angela Merkel has woven deeply into the fabric of the party from all people: promising pragmatism must allow according to material convictions that will not be destroyed.
So: Party conference can be exciting. Merz probably hopes the opposite.
Daniel Pontzen is a reporter at the ZDF capital studio.
I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.