Angela Merkel has upset the new leader of her Christian Democratic party (CDU) party by cancelling a key hustings for the European elections, leading to speculation that the two leading figures in German politics have fallen out over the party’s new identity.
Ms Merkel has informed Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at the eleventh hour that she will not travel to Munster to jointly open the CDU campaign for May’s European elections, Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday.
The last minute snub is a major embarrassment to Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, who had already informed party colleagues that the Chancellor was to appear and ordered corresponding security measures to be taken.
It is just the latest in a string of rebuffs from Ms Merkel to the woman once labelled “mini-Merkel” who succeeded her as party leader at the end of last year.
The Chancellor has reportedly informed her heir apparent she will not take part in any future political campaigning, even as the party faces key state elections in the autumn.
New CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and German Chancellor Angela Merkel CREDIT: REUTERS
She has also turned down invitations to a series of policy workshops which Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer organised in a push to reconnect the party with its grassroots.
Party insiders insist that Ms Merkel made it clear months ago that she would step back from party engagements in order to allow her successor to grow her public profile.
But Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer is said to be bitterly disappointed at the latest snub, fearing it sends a signal that Ms Merkel is disgruntled with her more conservative style.
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer has steered the party to the right on hot button issues such as asylum and gay rights since taking over as chairwoman. She has also courted the Chancellor’s long-time rival Friedrich Merz, a pro-business conservative whom she has reportedly offered a prestigious ministerial role in the post-Merkel era.
The Social Democrats have leapt on the reported unrest, with SPD deputy leader Ralf Stegner claiming on Twitter that Ms Merkel’s disappearing act is down to “disputes over political direction and party personnel.”
The Chancellor is set to appear at the final hustings for the European elections in Munich in May, but has made it clear she sees this event as being for the European People’s Party, the centre-right EU faction, due to the fact that several other EPP leaders will attend.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.