Lean result in Saxony: Kretschmer loses votes as CDU boss

Lean result in Saxony
Kretschmer loses votes as CDU boss

In the last election for the Saxon CDU chairman, Michael Kretschmer received almost 96 percent of the delegate’s votes. This time the result is significantly weaker. While he enjoys great approval as Prime Minister, he is losing support within his own ranks.

The Saxon CDU has confirmed its chairman Michael Kretschmer for another two years in office – but with a rather meager result. The 46-year-old received an approval of 76.35 percent at a state party conference in Dresden. With 214 votes cast, he received 155 votes, eleven delegates abstained. Kretschmer thus fared significantly worse than in previous votes. In 2017 he won 90 percent of the vote in his first election, two years later it was even 95.5 percent.

After his election, Kretschmer proposed, as expected, incumbent Alexander Dierks as Secretary General. He received an almost identical result as the state chairman. The approval for Dierks was 75.5 percent. The Lord Mayor of Plauen, Steffen Zenner, received the best result of the three deputy state chairmen: 95.8 percent. He is new to this position. Culture Minister Barbara Klepsch was re-elected with 75.8 percent, CDU parliamentary group leader Christian Hartmann with 81.4 percent. The CDU is thus largely relying on continuity in the new state executive.

In his speech to around 250 delegates, Kretschmer addressed the situation of the CDU in Germany right from the start. In his view, the Union needs staying power when it comes to renewing it. It’s not about a sprint. “We have to prepare for a marathon.” Kretschmer demanded team spirit and a “real jolt”.

In the Saxony CDU, too, one had to think about a new departure and broaden its base. 10,000 members were not enough: “We need more people who are committed to this democracy.” The CDU must approach these people.

“It can’t end well”

In view of the drastically increasing corona infections, Kretschmer urged consistent action. “We now have to step on the brakes in a special way.” The development should not go on like this. “It can’t end well. We don’t want a new lockdown. We want kindergartens and schools to stay open.” But for that you have to act now. Kretschmer spoke out in favor of offering corona rapid tests again free of charge for everyone. However, testing alone does not solve the problem. The current corona wave can only be broken by a radical reduction in contact. “It is the last exit that comes before a lockdown.”

At the beginning of the party congress, which Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder attended as a guest speaker, the Saxony CDU remembered its former chairman and Saxon Prime Minister Kurt Biedenkopf. He died on August 12 at the age of 91. With Bernhard Vogel – the former Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia – one of Biedenkopf’s companions gave a commemorative speech. Vogel described Biedenkopf as the master builder of the resurrected Free State of Saxony, as a beacon of hope for the CDU and a formative designer of the Federal Republic of Germany. “Saxony was a stroke of luck for Biedenkopf and Biedenkopf was a stroke of luck for Saxony.”

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