Berlin – Finance Minister Olaf Scholz does not see the factual work of the grand coalition endangered by its early proclamation as the SPD candidate for chancellor.
“The electoral campaign does not start tomorrow morning. It is just normal government work,” he told ARD on Monday evening. Scholz has defended the surprising era of his appointment against criticism from the Union. Citizens can now see where they stand with the SPD.
The board of directors and the presidium of the SPD had unanimously appointed Scholz as candidate for chancellor in the federal elections of 2021. Confirmation at a party convention is then no longer necessary. The SPD is the first party represented in the Bundestag with a candidate for chancellor in the autumn 2021 election. While the CDU has reacted cautiously, the CSU’s decision has drawn strong criticism.
“Now is not the time for the election campaign and the election of candidates. Our country faces great challenges and enormous tasks in the corona pandemic,” CSU Secretary General Markus said. Blume, from the “Passauer Neue Presse”. To refer to a candidate as a surprise coup d’etat is “downright adventurous”. Scholz is a respectable minister – “but the proclamation of the federal election campaign in this difficult phase can become a burden on the work of the grand coalition”.
On Monday, CSU boss Markus Söder clarified that he said the SPD had announced its candidate for chancellor too early. He also warned against launching the federal election campaign too soon due to the smoldering corona pandemic.
It is still unclear who will lead the Union as the candidate for chancellor in the federal elections. Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen are applying for the presidency of the CDU. In investigations into the candidate for chancellor, however, they are far behind Söder – who, however, always emphasizes that his place is in Bavaria. He recommends not nominating the best candidate of the Union until next year.
Merz predicted a failure Monday at Scholz, beaten by Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans in the SPD presidential election in December: “Olaf Scholz will come out like Peer Steinbrück 2013: the candidate does not match the party “said the former Union faction leader of the” Rheinische Post “.
Scholz dismissed this impression: “We have pulled ourselves together in a difficult process,” he told ARD. “The SPD and the candidate for chancellor go together.” The finance minister made it clear that he was counting on the support of all SPD forces. “It is important that the SPD act unanimously, surprise everyone with their unity and unity, and come together behind the candidate – and this is how it will be now,” he said. on ZDF.
SPD leader Walter-Borjans stressed the party’s right to have a say in the electoral program for the federal elections. “The work on the program has already started, and it is continuing. I have always said that a candidate for chancellor cannot just move his agenda forward. At the same time, the party should not impose a program on his candidate.” , he told the Germany news channel (RND).
Walter-Borjans admitted that Scholz’s appointment had disappointed a number of party members. “It would be dishonest and unfair of them to deny it, and you can follow it on Twitter,” he said. Nevertheless, he is convinced that the decision in favor of Scholz was the right one. “We spoke to many people in the SPD, and by the end it was clear that Olaf Scholz was the best candidate for the party and for the country.”
FDP Secretary General Linda Teuteberg described the appointment as “incompatible with the punch”. Teuteberg told the “Rheinische Post” that it was a well-known model of the SPD to operate with a minister respected by the people but not supported by the party. In the election campaign at the latest, the contradiction between the pragmatic candidate and the left program becomes clear.
The president of the Ifo Institute in Munich, Clemens Fuest, demanded from Scholz a clear rejection of a possible red-red-green government alliance. “The implementation of the economic and security positions of the left would cause considerable damage to Germany,” Fuest told the “Handelsblatt”. “I would expect Olaf Scholz to rule out a coalition with the left, because his positions are incompatible with those of the left.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200811-99-120079 / 2