Merkel Steps Down as Party Leader: 'CDU Are Playing Democracy' – AfD MP

Angela Merkel

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Sputnik / Sergei Guneev

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s protege has been elected as the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) new leader. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was chosen by party delegates on Friday at the CDU congress in Hamburg. Merkel will remain Germany’s Chancellor for the remaining three years of her term.

Sputnik discussed this with Markus Frohnmaier — a member of the Bundestag from the AfD party and an internationally-recognized expert in foreign affairs and economic cooperation.

READ MORE: Germany’s Christian Democrats Elect New Leader After Merkel Steps Down

Sputnik: Many people are reflecting on the fact that Angela Merkel will not be the CDU leader; they’re calling it the end of an era. Do you think that this is a significant event? And do you see this as the end of the Merkel era?

Markus Frohnmaier: You know, I think she will finish this election period, I mean, she will continue to be the head of our state until 2021. So, I think it’s wrong to talk about a change or the end of an era because she will still be the Chancellor of the country, and that means that she will give the political lines and she will control what the German politics and the government have to do. That means there will not be an end to the era before 2021. Today it’s more kind of cosmetic, CDU want to show the people, oh, look at us, we’re an old party but people in our party they have a choice, they can choose between three candidates and for me it’s more like they’re playing democracy in their party, but at the end of the day, the head of the state is important, the head of the state is doing the politics and not the head of the CDU.

READ MORE: Germany’s Christian Democratic Union Chooses Merkel’s Successor (VIDEO)

Sputnik: Although Merkel has said that she will stay in her position as Chancellor until the end of her term, she also had said earlier that one cannot be Chancellor without being a party leader, that’s kind of a contradiction of terms. What do you make of that? Do you agree with that statement by her? And how will this continue and do you think that she will make it to the end of her term?

Markus Frohnmaier: I believe that she will do it till the end of her term, because for her power is very important and, of course, the fact that she had to change her opinion about this, that the head of the CDU also has be the Chancellor of Germany and the Chancellor of Germany needs to be the head of the CDU. She had to change this position, also because the opposition like the Alternative for Germany made in the last months really good opposition work, we put pressure on the Chancellor because Angela Merkel stands for the open border policy in Germany. She opened the border, she’s responsible for the politics during the European crisis, that’s the big points that you will connect with Angela Merkel, her politics. And I would say the result in that today she cannot continue to be the head of the party, this is the success of the opposition work from the Alternative for Germany party.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.