After the September 26 elections, Angela Merkel will not be content to leave her large office on the 7the floor of the Chancellery, Berlin. She will also have to pack her boxes at Ossenreyerstraße 29, the address of her local elected representative, in Stralsund, by the Baltic Sea. What ends this year is not only Angela Merkel’s fourth term as head of the German government, but also her eighth as a member of the West Pomerania-Rügen-Greifswald constituency.
“Georg is anything but a parachute. He was born here, he lives here, he works here, he has always been in politics here. His legitimacy is total and he owes nothing in particular to Angela Merkel. Burkhard Lenz, Member of the Regional Parliament (CDU)
Thirty-one years is the time that has elapsed since the former deputy spokesperson of the last GDR government won her first electoral victory in the first legislative elections in reunified Germany in December 1990. Thirty and one years old, it is also almost the age of the one who should succeed him, Sunday, in this vast constituency of the north-east of Germany which includes at the same time vast agricultural areas, the industrial city of Stralsund and the tourist island of Rügen. His name: Georg Günther.
Candidate of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), this 33-year-old son of an electrician, who works in the financial service of the city of Stralsund, is a priori the favorite of this one-round ballot. Since 1990, Angela Merkel has always won comfortably, doing at worst 37.3% (in 1998), at best 56.2% (in 2013).
“She is her, me is me”
This heritage, the candidate assumes, but up to a point. “Of course it is a great honor for me to have been appointed to succeed such a personality: chancellor for sixteen years, deputy for thirty-one years, obviously that is impressive. But today I am campaigning on my own. My name is Georg Günther, not Angela Merkel. ”
“She is her, me is me.” The young man doesn’t say it so directly, but that’s the idea. Looking at his career, it’s quite understandable. He joined the Junge Union, the youth organization of the CDU in 2007, rose through the ranks as a classic and applied activist, becoming in 2018 its president at the level of the Land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
So that when Angela Merkel announced that she would not stand for a ninth term, her name came naturally, the Junge Union having always served as a breeding ground for future CDU executives. His appointment itself was made perfectly in the rules: the only candidate for the candidacy, he obtained 106 votes out of 117, in February, during the vote of investiture organized by his section. A ballot for which Angela Merkel was not present.
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