No resignation: seehofer goes on vociferous counterattack

No resignation: seehofer goes on vociferous counterattack

CSU leader horst seehofer has massively attacked his critics in the state parliamentary group in the party's power struggle. Right at the beginning of a closed session of the CSU parliamentary group in the state parliament, he attacked in particular members of parliament and members of the government who were engaged in the current debate on personnel, according to unanimous statements from the participants. The minister-president said on wednesday that the CSU is exposing itself to ridicule. It can't go on like this – the personnel discussion belongs at the party conference. The CSU is at a crossroads – namely, whether it will remain capable of governing.

There was long and strong applause for seehofer afterwards, it continued to be said from participant circles. Faction leader thomas kreuzer even spoke of a "good mood" with an ironic undertone. Even before the start of the meeting between seehofer and the 101-strong faction, the CSU leader had accused his critics of using personnel debates primarily to harm the entire party. "The damage has already been done, it can't be erased", he told journalists.

Demands for seehofer's resignation

Demands for seehofer's resignation have been voiced from within the parliamentary group, as well as from various district and local associations, following the historic CSU defeat in the federal elections. The CSU had crashed by 10.5 points to 38.8 percent in the federal election on sunday. Seehofer, however, has so far refused to resign. He appealed to the CSU to leave the personnel debate for the time being until the party congress in november.

"The last two days have been a strain for the CSU. You can't argue that away", emphasized seehofer. Compared with the upcoming coalition negotiations in berlin and the internal debate with the CDU, the situation in munich is the bigger issue for him. "Because that naturally weakens us considerably in berlin, that went well again yesterday. But how are we supposed to forcefully bring positions to bear in berlin if this is accompanied as was the case here yesterday??"

Seehofer again received backing from the ranks of his deputies. "Everyone must answer for what they are doing here", said CSU vice president barbara stamm. She called on everyone in the party to return to a factual debate appropriate to the situation. "I can only recommend that we do not continue like this."

Personnel discussions not a solution

Kreuzer also warned the CSU: "I think it is fundamentally wrong to discuss personnel at the moment. It weakens the party, it weakens the CSU", he said. Instead, we must focus on the difficult coalition negotiations in berlin. It was clear that there was a need for discussion after the election results. "But the way the CDU is doing it, celebrating this election result as a success and as the achievement of goals, we will certainly not do that in the CSU.", said kreuzer.

Despite the election defeat, honorary CSU chairman edmund stoiber believes it is still possible to defend the party's absolute majority in the 2018 state elections. That is "of course feasible, the former prime minister said to the german press agency in munich. "It's all about bavaria: bavarian issues, bavarian development. And we are nationwide table leader in many areas."

The CSU has the self-imposed claim to represent the absolute majority of the population. "And the party must continue to have this claim – otherwise it goes to our substance", stoiber warned. They also want to "substantially push back" the afd.

Refugee policy as main reason for bankruptcy

Stoiber refused to comment on the dispute over seehofer's political future. With regard to the upcoming coalition negotiations in berlin, he simply emphasized: "he knows that the party expects an upper limit to be enforced."
The CSU has so far not been able to push through its demand for a fixed upper limit for newly arriving refugees against the CDU. But according to stoiber, the federal government's refugee policy is the main reason for the CSU's collapse: "many voters who have been loyal to us for decades no longer voted for the CSU this time because they disagree with angela merkel's refugee policy. That was the overriding issue."

Former CSU leader erwin huber, meanwhile, called for an open debate without prohibitions on speech or thought. On the ZDF morning show, he recommended that seehofer hold a series of dialogs in all CSU district associations: "you should let the party base have its say. (…) i recommend more thoughtfulness, also more humility."

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