German CDU politician says No to populist AfD

26-09-2023

Central Europe

CNE.news

Thomas Rachel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union in Germany. Photo Thomas Rachel

Populism is not compatible with the Christian C of CDU, says Thomas Rachel. He is the chairman of the party’s Protestant working group in Germany. With this stance, Rachel contracts the Values Commission of his party.

The CDU struggles with a dividing question: what will be the strategic direction for the party? The chairman of the CDU Basic Values Commission, Andreas Rödder, sees a chance for cooperation with the far-right party AfD, while Rachel strongly denounces that option, PRO writes.

In an interview with the German newspaper Stern, Rödder sees a possibility for cooperation with the AfD party in areas where they agree. He is thinking of a minority government of his party even if it was to be supported by the AfD.

"What if the AfD introduces previous CDU templates? Should the CDU vote against its own beliefs as a matter of principles?" Rödder stated during the interview. "Parliamentarism means putting content first."

At the same time, Rödder drew clear red lines where cooperation with far-right parties is a no-go. "I'm just mentioning the relativisation of National Socialism or the advocacy of the war against Ukraine", he illustrated.

Suitability

Yet, this is not enough to convince CDU chairman Thomas Rachel. He calls Rödder's statements "unspeakable and irresponsible."

Rachel points out that the far-right is incompatible with the C in the party name. "It is incompatible with Christian belief to allow such a party to tolerate you. The CDU will clearly differentiate itself", Rachel said.

Protest party

He even went so far as to question Rödder's suitability for the position of chairman of the Basic Values Commission. "The appropriate consequences must now be drawn immediately."

Rachel is supported by several local CDU leaders, Stern writes. Hesse's Prime Minister Boris Rhein said to local media that the party "should talk less about such a protest party and much more about issues that really concern people."

North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minster Hendrik Wüst distanced himself from Rödder even stronger. "Our position is very, very clear: We don't want to have anything to do with the AfD. It is anti-democratic and inhumane", he said.

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