Chancellery in danger: why Merkel is not campaigning for Laschet

Chancellery in danger
Why Merkel is not campaigning for Laschet

Surveys show that a significant part of the previous CDU / CSU voters voted for the Union only because of the Chancellor. Nevertheless, Angela Merkel does not want to campaign for Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning next to no major appearances for the Bundestag election campaign. “The Chancellor is not remotely taking part in this election campaign as it used to be,” according to information from ntv in CDU circles. Sporadic appointments with CDU Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet are not excluded, but Merkel will “not do” the “election campaign”.

After 16 years of Merkel’s career, the CDU could lose the Chancellery for the first time in the federal elections in September and end up in the opposition: In current polls, the CDU / CSU are either behind or just ahead of the Greens. At the same time, a green-led traffic light coalition with the SPD and FDP would have a clear majority in the Bundestag. And it is very likely that the green candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock would then try to form a government without the Union.

With Armin Laschet, a previously unpopular candidate for Chancellor for the CDU / CSU is also entering the race. Merkel, on the other hand, has been the country’s most popular politician for years. A notable part of the previous CDU / CSU voters stated in previous polls that they only vote for Merkel as a person. But even that does not seem to move the outgoing Chancellor to one last election campaign. Not even for Laschet, although he is the one among her possible successors who wants to continue her moderate political course.

In the CDU headquarters there is still no planning for appearances with Merkel, as it is called on request. One only plans for the party chairman and the general secretary and refers to the Chancellery, where, however, no plans seem to exist so far. That would be different if Merkel planned larger events with or without Laschet.

Even in the long-standing home constituency of Vorpommern-Rügen, Merkel – as of now – has not planned any major appearances. She won the direct mandate there since 1990. Her successor as constituency candidate is Georg Günther.

Merkel had already held back almost completely in the 2019 European election campaign and only appeared at one of the closing events. The then CDU chairman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer rejected the impression that Merkel’s noticeable absence was due to a falling out with her. At the same time, Merkel has made it clear on several occasions that her successors would have to come to terms with party-internal as well as in election campaigns alone. She doesn’t want to interfere. This now also seems to apply to Laschet, although the Chancellery is in great danger for the CDU.