Angela Merkel heckled during speech in German Bundestag
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Back in 2018, the German Chancellor announced she would stand down as leader of the CDU at the party convention. She said she would not seek a fifth term as Chancellor as Germany takes to the election polls this year.
In January, Armin Laschet was announced as the new leader of the CDU party after beating rival Friedrich Merz in a digital leadership election.
But the new CDU leader faced mounting scrutiny over statements he made in the past defending Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Assad regime in Syria.
During an event organised by his party, Mr Laschet promised to “finally pick up the pace” with the digitisation of the backward administration.
He repeated that the accusation of 16 years of inactivity of the government was “a stupid response, because everything has already happened in the 16 years”.
Mr Laschet added: “Because the world in 2005 was different from the world in 2021.”
He went on to say how when Ms Merkel became Chancellor back in 2005, Netflix was “still sending DVDs by post”.
Mr Laschet continued: “Something happens all the time, it never stops.
“And it will also be the case after the next chancellorship, meaning in 16 years…”
However, Mr Laschet was interrupted by laughter which stopped him from finishing his sentence, Germany media Welt reported.
In her short speech at the event, Ms Merkel praised her successor’s abilities and said he was “open, courageous and curious”.
She said Mr Laschet had governed the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with “great success, with reliability, with measure and moderation”.
Back in January, Ms Merkel was dealt a huge blow after Mr Laschet lagged behind in the polls.
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In a Civey poll – which surveyed 5,102 people from May 24-13 – asked: ‘Who would you vote for in a direct election for Chancellor?’.
Out of those who voted 82 percent of Germans surveyed said they would vote for Green leader Annalena Baerbock.
In comparison, only 57 percent of people said they would vote for Ms Merkel’s successor – while 73 percent would vote for SPD candidate Olaf Scholz.
Despite the blow, Mr Laschet’s approval was around 11 percent in April and 22 percent of voters would vote for him in a direct election.
This was not the first time Ms Merkel has been warned about her successor.
Christian von Stetten, the chairman of the Mittelstand parliamentary group (PKM) of the Union faction previously warned many party members have toyed with the idea of leaving.
He said: “If Merz is not involved at the top, we are not talking about hundreds of exits, but thousands.”
Mr von Stetted added the new party leader must ensure business-friendly policies end up in the manifesto in the Bundestag election campaign.
He continued: “As members of parliament, it is difficult for us to advertise an election programme if we are not convinced of it.”
Germany will head to the polls to elect their next Chancellor on Sunday, September 26,
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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