Race for CDU chairmanship: Braun for “fundamental renewal”

Status: 11/22/2021 4:13 p.m.

After Merz and Röttgen, the third applicant for the CDU chairmanship, Braun, presented his team. If he is elected, the former State Secretary for Integration of North Rhine-Westphalia, Guler, will become Secretary General.

Friedrich Merz, Norbert Röttgen or Helge Braun? Two months after its disaster in the federal elections, the CDU is looking for a new chairman in the introductory phase of the candidates. In the run-up, the executive minister of the Chancellery, Braun, presented the team with which he will be entering the race for the CDU chairmanship.

Guler is to become the general secretary

Braun proposed the member of the Bundestag and former State Secretary in North Rhine-Westphalia Serap Guler as a candidate for the office of Secretary General. If he is elected, Güler should become Secretary General because she “can discuss, sometimes polarize and integrate,” said Braun at the presentation of his team in Berlin. He wanted “strong women to have a strong role in the CDU”.

From 2017 until her move to the Bundestag, the 41-year-old Guler was State Secretary for Integration in the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration. She is considered a confidante of the outgoing CDU chairman Armin Laschet and has been on the CDU federal executive committee since 2012.

Braun also announced that the digital politician and previous deputy chairman of the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Nadine Schön, should become the head of the program and structure department.

Braun: CDU has to be down-to-earth and close to the people

After the debacle in the Bundestag election, the outgoing Chancellery Minister announced at the same time that he wanted to bring the party closer to the grassroots. It is necessary “that we change from a member party to a real participatory party”.

Braun said the CDU needed a fundamental renewal – “fundamental renewal in the mind, fundamental renewal in content and also a fundamental renewal in the organization”. It must be interesting again to come to the CDU and work in it. Braun emphasized that if the CDU wanted to win elections again with broad approval, it had to be attractive to broad sections of society. “From my point of view that means: we have to be down to earth and we have to be close to the people.”

The CDU must also ensure that all of its roots are perceived as being equally important. There were considerable problems here during the election campaign and in recent years. “Our social roots in particular were not made clear enough during the election campaign. From my point of view, the CDU must always be there for the hard-working people with their everyday worries, and we must focus on their concerns.” Workplace, pension and living environment such as rents. “These are all topics that must be a matter close to the heart of the CDU. And we have to have clear and simple answers to them.”

In addition to Braun, ex-Union parliamentary group leader Merz and foreign politician Norbert Röttgen are applying to succeed Armin Laschet, who failed as candidate for chancellor in the federal election. Merz and Braun had already introduced their team.

Like Braun, Röttgen proposed a woman as General Secretary, Franziska Hoppermann, a member of the Bundestag. Merz, on the other hand, is entering the race with the former Berlin Health Senator Mario Czaja as a proposal for the party position. However, he wants Christina Stumpp Czajas, a member of the Bundestag, to be deputy, for which this post has yet to be created.

Member survey at the beginning of December

For the first time, the approximately 400,000 members are to make a preliminary decision on the future CDU chairman in a survey that will start at the beginning of December. The new chairman is to be elected on January 21 by the 1001 delegates at a party conference in Hanover.

Merz officially introduces himself in the evening

Before the member survey in December, the CDU begins the evening with the official presentation of the applicants for the party chairmanship. In the evening (6 p.m.) the party will first broadcast a live event with Merz. Röttgen will follow on Wednesday and then Braun on Thursday. On December 1st, all three will then answer questions from the CDU members together.


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