Ruling party turns against Angela Merkel
The Berlin policy is still shaking. After a tough struggle within the ruling "grand coalition" of the Social Democrats and the CDU/CSU, which ended in retirement of head of Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution Hans-Georg Maassen, as well as against the background of constant contradictions between the CDU and CSU "sister-parties" on migration, Angela Merkel's position in her own party was seriously damaged.
According to the German media and sources familiar with the situation in the ruling party, discontent with the uncompromising style of party management, which over the years of Merkel's rule has actually turned into an obedient tool for the head of government's political will, has been accumulating for a long time. But if earlier the Chancellor's authority was considered absolutely unshakable, last year's election to the Bundestag, in which the CDU/CSU gained only 32.9% - the lowest result in its history - has seriously undermined the Merkel's image as a politician able to ensure a convincing victory for the party at the elections. Moreover, according to the latest opinion polls, the CDU/CSU rating currently stands at 28%, while the far-right Alternatives for Germany (AfD) became the second most popular political force in the country. In many respects, such a tendency is linked to miscalculations in the migration policy, which is reluctantly admitted even by the chancellor.
On September 25, the CDU/CSU actually rose up against its chairman, Angela Merkel, ousting her most loyal supporter Volker Kauder as a head of the party's parliamentary group. Over the past 13 years, Kauder has been the Chancellor's right-hand man, ensuring the parliamentary faction's firm support for Merkel's decisions and policies. Kauder gave way to deputy Ralph Brinkhaus with a large margin. Brinkhaus put forward his candidacy for the post of head of the group, despite the fact that Merkel from the very beginning was against having an "alternative candidate." Today the CDU/CSU emphasizes that this is not about a "riot" against the party chairman, it's just a "staff turnover", which should bring fresh forces to the party.
Merkel publicly admitted her defeat, which, according to her, is often "the case in democracies". At the same time, she expressed readiness to work closely with the new leader of the parliamentary group and fully support him. The question, however, is whether the new faction leader will provide unconditional support to Angela Merkel, just like Volker Kauder did? After the September 25 vote, it became obvious that the situation in the ruling party would no longer be the same as before. The painful defeat of the Chancellor in her own party was a serious image loss, which significantly weakens her position not just within the party, but in the internal arena of Germany in general. According to experts, it seems likely now that in such circumstances Angela Merkel will not be able to rule until the end of her term. Berlin is increasingly talking about the probability of early elections, which will surely bring an end to Merkel's 'long-drawn' era in modern German history.