Laschet to Step Down as CDU Leader After Conservative Bloc's Failure in Elections

© REUTERS / ANNEGRET HILSEArmin Laschet, the leader of Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union party CDU, looks down as he gives a statement on talk to form a German government at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2021.
Armin Laschet, the leader of Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union party CDU, looks down as he gives a statement on talk to form a German government at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.10.2021
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BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Armin Laschet announced on Thursday his decision to step down soon owing to the conservative CDU/CSU bloc's failure in the German parliamentary election.
Laschet made the statement at a meeting of the CDU/CSU bloc, Germany's n-tv broadcaster said. However, the politician will leave the post only after his successor is chosen.
Commenting on the news, Free Democratic Party (FDP) secretary-general Volker Wissing said that formation of the new government should not depend on one person and infighting within a party.

"We have taken note that, apparently, there are not only complicated public debates in the CDU, but also an upcoming change of leadership. However, it is always important for us that our yardstick is not personalities, but the program. So, of course, we take it seriously. A change of leadership opens new prospects for a party. But it is clear to us that forming a government should not depend on one person and leadership issues in a certain party. Instead, we must work with the program," Wissing told reporters.

Laschet's departure would also have no real bearing on the coalition negotiations, Wising added.
Michael Kellner, spokesman of the Greens, noted that it is necessary to wait for the CDU's decision first and stated that, starting Monday, the parties will proceed with the talks and there will be "no parallel negotiations."
Germany held a legislative election on September 26. The SPD came in first, having gained more votes than the ruling CDU/CSU bloc. The Greens and the FDP took third and fourth places, respectively.
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