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Germany’s Laschet faces calls to resign over election setback

Candidate for chancellor of the Christian Union parties block Armin Laschet brief the media after a leaders meeting of his Christian Democratic Union party CDU at the headquarters in Berlin, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. Following Sunday's election leaders of the German parties were meeting Monday to digest a result that saw Merkel's Union bloc slump to its worst-ever result in a national election and appeared to put the keys to power in the hands of two opposition parties. Both Social Democrat Olaf Scholz and Armin Laschet, the candidate of Merkel's party, laid a claim to leading the next government. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)  

Pressure was mounting on Tuesday on Armin Laschet to quit after his Conservatives lost to the Social Democrats in Germany’s election, further complicating his bid to form the next government after the disastrous vote.

Mr. Laschet’s Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU) Conservative alliance brought home its worst election result in post-war Germany of 24.1%, behind Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) on 25.7%.

But Mr. Laschet, the conservative bloc’s hope to succeed veteran Chancellor Angela Merkel, insisted his party would still try to build a governing coalition and was ready for talks with the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) for a possible partnership.

‘Not satisfied’

Though he admitted he could “not be satisfied with this result”, Mr. Laschet also claimed “no party”, not even the Social Democrats, could claim a mandate to govern from Sunday’s vote outcome.

But calls were growing louder for Mr. Laschet to admit defeat and resign, even from within his own party.

“You have lost. Please have some insight. Avert further damage to the #CDU and resign,” Ellen Demuth, a CDU member of the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament, wrote on Twitter.

“We lost the election. Full stop,” said Tilman Kuban, the head of the CDU’s youth wing. Marcus Muendlein, the chairman of the party’s youth wing in the state of Saxony, called for “a true new beginning”, which he said could “only be successful if our leader and candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet... resigns”.

A stormy session is expected later on Tuesday when the newly elected MPs of the CDU and its Bavarian allies, the CSU, sit down together for the first time since the vote.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:18:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/germanys-laschet-faces-calls-to-resign-over-election-setback/article36723648.ece

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