The country’s legislative elections take place on September 26th. It is the first time that the German leader has been involved in the campaign of her conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She insisted on Laschet’s values and his ability to “build bridges between people”.
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“It was always important to him [Laschet] putting individual and inalienable dignity at the center of everything. I am deeply convinced that it is precisely with this attitude that he will serve the Germans as chancellor,” said Merkel, who has been in power for 16 years.
This support comes at a delicate moment for the CDU candidate, who is losing steam in the polls and is threatened by both the SPD Social Democrats and the Greens.
So far, the chancellor has remained very low-key in the campaign and has left the field open for her successor.
“It’s my attitude and my deep conviction,” he insisted during the act with nearly 100 spectators, including his own successor at CDU.
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The rally was also one of the last election speeches by Merkel, who after a 31-year career and four successful campaigns for the chancellery still enjoys high popularity in Germany.
On Monday (23), the chancellor will meet again with Armin Laschet to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the most populous regional state in the country, North Rhine-Westphalia, which his successor has governed for four years.
The conservative party and its Bavarian brother, the CSU, have a voting intention of 22%-23%, up from around 30% a few weeks ago. The drop is precipitous since the beginning of the year, when it was 36%.
Laschet criticized his two main adversaries, Social Democrats and environmentalists, saying he wanted to “fight with everything so that this country is not ruled by ideologues”.
His conservative party “wants to govern not because it wants to govern, but because we must govern so that Germany stays on the right path,” he said.
social democratic rise
The SPD Social Democrats, led by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, are catching up with the conservatives. The party, ubiquitous in German politics after the war, is making a turnaround, with 21% of voting intentions.
On the other hand, the phenomenon of the environmentalist party of the Greens seems to drop and now has 17% of voting intentions. In April, after announcing his candidate Annalena Baerbock, he even surpassed the conservatives.
Elected in January at the head of the CDU, Laschet, 60, struggled to assert himself as head of the CDU-CSU, against his Bavarian rival Markus Söder.
Editing with the faces of Olaf Scholz, Armin Laschet and Annalena Baerbock, party leaders who appear best in voter intention polls in Germany — Photo: Armando Babani/Reuters, Ronny Hartmann and Patrik Stollarz/AFP
“Armin, you can count on my support, I say that in all honesty,” Söder said Saturday in Berlin.
However, it also issued a warning, warning that the current trend is “clear”.
“It will be very fierce and everyone should understand” that it’s all or nothing, he said. “I have no desire to go to the opposition,” he said.