“I step aside”
Strobl gives up CDU leadership – successor chosen
September 25, 2023, 4:52 p.m
He led the CDU in Baden-Württemberg back into state government after losing power. He has been Interior Minister in Stuttgart since 2016. Now Thomas Strobel is announcing his withdrawal from the CDU leadership in the state. His designated successor will not comment until midweek.
The Baden-Württemberg deputy head of government Thomas Strobl has decided not to run again for the CDU state chairmanship. “I’m stepping aside,” said the 63-year-old in Stuttgart after his party’s committee meetings. He was not put under any pressure. “This is a sovereign decision.” Strobl has led the regional association since 2011. The decision will continue the renewal process he initiated. Strobl wants to remain interior minister and deputy head of government.
Strobl suggested the chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament, Manuel Hagel, as his successor. For months, the 35-year-old has been said to have ambitions for the CDU state chairmanship and the top candidate for the state elections in 2026. Hagel announced that he would not comment on the question of power in the CDU state association until Wednesday. Then the party’s leadership committees would meet and he would like to explain himself personally.
Hagel wants to explain himself soon
In recent months, the question of a possible successor to Strobl at the top of the party has been directed at Hagel. Strobl has now announced that the time has come when he would like to place responsibility for the party in younger hands. “I am convinced that parliamentary group leader Manuel Hagel will give our party the necessary impetus for a successful future.” In the end, the CDU state party conference on November 18th in Reutlingen will decide who will become party leader.
Strobl reportedly met with several CDU district chairmen on Sunday. This Monday he presented his decision to the CDU committees. He himself spoke of a “transition in a friendly and harmonious manner”.
Strobl without a state parliament mandate
Baden-Württemberg was politically firmly in the grip of the CDU for almost six decades. In 2011, the state elections brought a spectacular turnaround: after 58 years, the party lost power to the green-red coalition. The CDU was in opposition until 2016, which was a completely new experience for them. Since then, the Christian Democrats have governed as junior partners with the Greens with Green Party Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. A new state parliament is expected to be elected in spring 2026.
Strobl managed to lead the party into government in both 2016 and 2021 – and avoid a loss of importance in the opposition. Strobl became interior minister in both state governments. It is unclear what impact Strobl’s resignation from the party leadership will have on cooperation in the green-black government. Strobl is considered the coalition’s anchor of stability – with a very good connection to Prime Minister Kretschmann. Strobl said he would continue to do everything to ensure that the state government worked stably. However, he does not sit in the state parliament. From 1998 to 2016 he sat in the Bundestag. Strobl is married to the daughter of the former Federal Minister of the Interior and Finance Wolfgang Schäuble. Christina Strobl is currently program director at ARD.