After a confusing election night, in which the second most voted candidate flirted with the idea of leading a coalition negotiation parallel to that of the winner, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz
He took control yesterday, both of the leadership of the negotiation and of the success of his party. First thing in the morning, at the House Willy Brandt, He made it clear that “I see a clear mandate from the voters to form a government of the parties that have won in these elections, mainly this one, because our result has thrown us up, along with the Greens and the Liberals.” In this way, the first contacts were guided by the so-called ‘traffic light coalition’, for which potential partners rushed to prepare.
Liberal Party (FDP), Christian Lindner He suggested a meeting of Liberals and Greens prior to the first conversation with Scholz, and the Greens saw this union of little ones very favorably. From the SPD leadership, however, criticism of this token movement began to rain and Scholz once again uttered a word of authority. “It’s not my style,” he said, “speaking ill of each other is not an option.” The Social Democrat, fully installed in his role as a statesman, calmed the executive by stating that “it is completely fine that those with whom we want to work also talk to each other. We want a government based on trust. The word “friends” associated with the liberals must have hit the two leaders of the party like a blow to the stomach, Saskia Esken and Walter-Borjans, which also covered their mouths. It was a first call of attention and leadership towards his own that marks a red line and that will have programmatic consequences if Scholz does not allow it to be crossed during the negotiations, because his people are much further to the left than the candidate.
A backless laschet
But if there were these subtle tensions in the Social Democratic leadership, knives flew at the CDU board meeting. Laschet, who a few hours earlier spoke of forming a government, not only did not obtain support for this adventure from the executive but also heard requests for resignation because of the 9% loss of the electorate. His head, in fact, was left in the air. He will not even be allowed to lead the parliamentary group and the only position he currently has is that of regional president of North Rhine Westphalia and even this is not entirely clear. The regional youth of the party openly called yesterday for the replacement of Laschet by the current Minister of Transport, Hendrik Wüst, whom they consider to be a solvent successor.
Laschet’s initial triumphalism received the first jug of cold water from the regional president of Saxony, Michael Kretschman, who stated before entering the meeting in which the board should assess the results, that “I do not see in the result a mandate for the CDU to form a government.” From Rhineland-Palatinate, Ellen Demuth He called for his withdrawal and the “Union of Values”, the wing furthest to the right within the party and with great influence, demanded a “comprehensive repositioning of personnel.” “The board of directors and party leaders of the CDU and CSU (Armin Laschet and Markus Söder) have to draw conclusions from the electoral debacle and resign with immediate effect,” the group declared. We need a new beginning. This can only be successful if our federal president and candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet, draws the conclusions from this loss of confidence and resigns, “said the president of the Union Junge of Saxony, Marcus Mündlein.
Self-criticism and responsibility
When he appeared at a press conference, after hearing all this, visibly affected, Laschet spoke of self-criticism and responsibility, but did not rule out the possibility of a grand coalition and insisted that “I agree that the result is not a mandate for form a government, but in this situation, in which one has 25% and the other 24%, neither of them can automatically say that he will be the chancellor of Germany, because first you have to talk to the little ones. This is the hour when the CDU candidate has not congratulated Scholz as the winner of the elections, a serious fault etiquette according to German political protocol.
Markus Söder, president of Bavaria and of the CSU, who the night before had also hinted at hopes for a Jamaican government, immediately squared off, changed his discourse and committed to “a thorough review and analysis of errors.” The general secretary of the CDU, Paul Ziemak, announced a “clear and ruthless analysis” and the message to the rest of the parties is that the conservatives remain at the disposal of any conversation with a constructive spirit, but for the moment in the background.
Merkel, absent throughout the day, attended only in the afternoon to the reception on the occasion of the feast of St. Michael the Archangel at the headquarters of the German Episcopal Conference, where he avoided speaking out or making assessments. In a small circle, he did not show surprise at the electoral result and agreed to the possibility that Greens and Liberals end up understanding each other to enter the government with the Social Democrats. After all, that was his first choice in 2017, and if he ended up opting for another grand coalition, it was because the liberals left the table.