CSU party congress in Munich: Two alpha men, no euphoria

  • At its congress in Munich, the CSU adopted its chairman Horst Seehofer.
  • His successor Markus Söder strikes moderate tones after his election and is emphatically pro-European.
  • Green and AfD, however, he attacked sharply, federal politics hardly occurs in his speech.

From the congress of Ingrid Fox

It was to be a party day of departure, but the CSU delegates seem a bit tired. What's going to happen this Saturday has been clear for weeks: a new boss has to come here. Farewell and restart. Nevertheless, it is an exciting day for the two alpha men of the CSU. One, Markus Söder, takes over the second important office from the other within a year.

In the state elections in the fall Söder had to cope with harsh losses as Prime Minister, the election result for CSU chairman he can hardly like: 87.42 percent he achieved, the only candidate. For him it is now nothing less than the future, his own and that of the party. The other, Horst Seehofer, must finally vacate his place at the head of the party. A resignation from the resignation is no longer an option this time – even if he jokes about it.

Politics in Bavaria Söder with 87 percent elected CSU chairman

Söder with 87 percent elected CSU chairman

Markus Söder is the new CSU boss. The special party of the Christian Social elected him with 87.42 percent of valid votes to the chairman.


Seehofer arrives first in the morning at the Kleiner Olympiahalle in Munich, almost 40 minutes before the start of the congress, he gets out of his limousine. What did he do that day? He has dropped off the second tweet of his life – and read his horoscope in his hometown newspaper. For Söder it sounds like a threat: "You will not lose your face if you revise a decision made, on the contrary, to respect," quotes Seehofer from the Donaukurier, Later on the stage, he adds: "15 years ago, maybe even ten years ago, I would have understood that as an assignment, today I miss the risk-taking."

For the delegates, Seehofer makes fun of this, nobody wants to stop his farewell. After ten years, and especially after the past months, many have enough: Seehofer is accused, among other things, missed the moment for the resignation, lost the feeling for the people and set the topics wrong in the election campaign. Thus, relief is almost felt as Seehofer begins his farewell speech: "Today I return the office of party leader with great gratitude and with pride in the hands of my party."

A little sadness is the 69-year-old to note that day, it should hardly consolation him the farewell gift – the replica of the CSU party headquarters for his model railway landscape – hardly. The applause for Seehofer is decent, only a single older man stands with a poster in the hall, "Thanks Horst" on it. Seehofer will not be unemployed, but he wants to retain his post as Federal Minister of the Interior, despite statements to the contrary in the meantime. In addition, he is elected on suggestion Söders CSU honorary chairman and joins Edmund Stoiber and Theo Waigel.

Weber wants to become EU Commission head

The harmonious farewell Söder has thus successfully brought to the party congress, the debut as party leader, however, he struggles. He presents the five most important topics for the CSU: the Christian character, the social conscience, economic strength, security and Bavaria, along with its traditions. He sounds much more moderate and gentle than a few months ago, he positions himself and the party as clearly pro-European – no wonder, after all, the CSU man Manfred Weber is the leading candidate of the EPP for the European elections – and thus also for the post of EU Commission President.

Soder saves rapturous sayings or populist demands, only with the AfD ("ugly face") and the Greens ("double standard") he remains hard. There are good applause from the delegates, there is no sign of jubilation. Federal politics hardly occurs in Söder's speech, which he leaves to CDU chief Annegret-Kramp Karrenbauer, who will be visiting the CSU this Saturday. The concern that the CSU could shrink under Söder's leadership to a regional party, he can not refute in his first speech as party leader. Seehofer never had this problem, his career started in Berlin and there it will probably end again. His conclusion after leaving the CSU leadership: "My work is done."

Politics in Bavaria In the CSU there are still great reservations about Markus Söder

In the CSU there are still great reservations about Markus Söder

87.4 percent is a mere result for a chairman, who should lead the CSU to old strength. Söder now has to prove that he no longer runs after moods aimlessly.Comment by Sebastian Beck


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