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After the end of the federal election: Laschet: Would have liked to have remained head of the country

After the federal election
Laschet: I would have liked to stay in charge of the country

In the federal election in September, Armin Laschet is defeated by his competitor Olaf Scholz. With the defeat, the CDU politician is also saying goodbye to his post as Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia. He would have liked to remain head of the country, as Laschet now reveals.

The former Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, would have liked to remain head of government in Düsseldorf after his failure as the Union’s candidate for chancellor in the federal elections. “Giving up the office of Prime Minister was difficult,” said Laschet to the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. But it was clear to him from the start that there would be “no return ticket” and that he would go to Berlin. Nevertheless, it was “not easy” for him to keep this promise, explained Laschet.

In retrospect, Laschet “deeply regrets” the laugh that brought him a lot of criticism during a joint visit with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the flood area last summer. That was an “annoying incident”. “That painted a different picture of me than how people know me. I am an empathetic person, I was that also in the flood,” said the former head of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. When asked what was so funny about the incident in Erftstadt, which was later spread in a video on social media, Laschet said: “Someone makes a stupid remark, it’s not worth talking about.”

“He was my competitor, never my rival”

In the end, he put up with the defeat in the federal election quite well. “Life goes on”. According to his own admission, Laschet has an untroubled relationship with his designated successor in the office of CDU chairman, Friedrich Merz. “He was my competitor, never my rival. We get on very well,” said Laschet. On the other hand, the relationship with the former competitor for the candidacy for chancellor, Markus Söder, has apparently suffered. There is currently no thread of conversation. Laschet: “We used to have a good relationship. At the moment there is little to vote on.”

Laschet’s successor in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst, as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference now has the chance “to be the voice of the German states in corona policy and to become a visible actor,” said Laschet in the newspaper interview. Now the member of the Bundestag no longer wants to look back and profile himself in Berlin as the CDU’s foreign policy expert. “Foreign policy has always been a focus for me.”

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