Start Germany Seehofer announces resignations

Seehofer announces resignations

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Even if the Bavarian Cabinet is to be sworn in on Monday, Horst Seehofer’s future is already clear. Just over a month after the heavy CSU bankruptcy in the state election and under massive pressure of its own party base announced the CSU chief on Sunday his resignation. He also wants to resign as Minister of the Interior – at least before the end of the current legislature.

Seehofer wants to make a personal statement in the course of the week, he made clear this evening in a meeting of the narrowest CSU leadership in Munich. Accordingly, there could be a special party conference in January or February with a new election of the CSU chairman. A concrete date on which he wants to hand over the ministerial office left Seehofer still open. But he made it clear that he would not stay without the party chairmanship nor Interior Minister. „2019 will be the year of renewal for the CSU,“ said Seehofer loud participants.

The 69-year-old is thus clearing the way for the election of a successor as CSU chairman on a special party day early next year, as the dpa learned in accordance with participants circles. As by far the most promising successor to the CSU chief post is now the old and new Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder. The 51-year-old would then inherit Seehofer for the second time, after he had already taken over the post of head of government in the German state from him in March.

Resignation expected

With a resignation Seehofer as CSU boss was expected in the past weeks more and more. The first priority was the formation of a government in Bavaria, where the CSU now relies on a coalition partner after losing the absolute majority.

End of an era in Germany?

The coalition agreement with the Free Voters is now signed, Söder re-elected and sworn in as Prime Minister. The cabinet will be named on Monday. Seehofer announced in the meeting that after the swearing-in „in the course of the week“ he wanted to explain his future in concrete terms. Previously, CSU European politician Manfred Weber left open on German television whether he would like to succeed Seehofer. „We have a reigning party leader,“ he replied to a similar question in the ZDF program „Berlin direct“.

But Weber said that Seehofer „in the next week“ will explain his position publicly, as it should continue after the voting losses of more than ten percentage points in the Bavarian state elections with the CSU in terms of content and personnel. „Then we will continue to watch,“ said Weber, who has just been voted the top candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) for the European elections.

Crash of the CSU

The CSU had crashed in the state election on 14 October to only 37.2 percent. Large parts of the party make it especially Seehofer responsible. He is being criticized for being overly tough on the Chancellor, the main responsibility for two government crises, his „resignation“ in the dispute over refugee policy last summer, and the fall of the now-defunct constitutional protection president Hans-Georg Maaßen.
Markus Söder Hoppe
Söder is considered a promising successor to the CSU chief post

Already after the CSU bankruptcy in the federal election last year, Seehofer had been able to hold as CSU chief only because he was ready after long quarrels to give the premiership to Söder. Even then Seehofer acted but ultimately only under massive internal pressure, especially the CSU parliamentary group.

Parallel to the formation of the government, internal pressure on Seehofer had become stronger and stronger. More and more district and district associations, more and more MPs and county councils turned away from him and demanded – sometimes more, sometimes less directly – Seehofer resignation and a special party with new elections. The debate was fueled and accelerated by the announcement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to hand over the CDU chairmanship in December.