Armin Laschet should be the next prime minister in Germany, to replace his party mate, Angela MerkelAfter the elections on the 26th. Everything seemed to indicate that this would happen until the effective campaigning began.
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was leading in the polls, and it looked like it would be relatively easy to maintain the government after 16 years and four terms for a respected leader with good approval ratings. Moreover, for the past 72 years, the CDU has been in power for 52 years.
But the drop – by more than 10 points – was rapid, and today the frontrunner is Olaf Schulz of the SPD.
Facing accusations of plagiarism in a 2009 book (reporting that the publication “clearly contains errors for which I am responsible”), Laschet had to confront the fact that the ruling state, North Rhine-Westphalia, was focusing on one of the highest rates of Covid-19 cases. In the country, it is also considered ambiguous when it comes to presenting its proposals.
But there was nothing worse on his photo than the moment that the cameras captured on July 17 and was widely published. While visiting a severely flooded area of his state, Laschet was caught laughing at a joke while German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivered an official speech in solidarity with the victims.
Armin Laschet, Christian Democratic Union candidate and prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, laughs as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses flood victims in Irwistadt on July 17 – Photo: Marius Becker/pool via AFP
“It was stupid, it shouldn’t have happened and I’m sorry for that,” the Christian Democrat told ZDF days later. “I’m sorry, I can’t say much more than that.”
To make matters worse, his main rival, Schultz, was present that day. Remaining serious about releasing funds for immediate reconstruction measures, he is the current Minister of Economy.
Laschet performance in dealing with floods, The biggest natural disaster in Germany in 59 yearsIncidentally, it is cited as one of the main reasons for its poor performance among the electorate of its state.
Armin Laschet, 60, was elected in January leader of the CDU, filling the position left by Merkel. He has served as Minister and President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, since June 2017.
Before starting his political career, he studied law and worked as a journalist. He has been a member of the Bundestag, the German parliament, since 1994, and in 1999 he became a member of the European Parliament.
Center-right party leader Laschet has promised that Germany, if elected, will become a “climate-neutral industrial country” by 2045, but his environmental rhetoric is not considered the boldest, and he has already claimed that the sector’s actions cannot stifle the country’s economy.
After a dip in research, he expanded the references on the topic, promising innovations, including the creation of more jobs associated with clean energy generation.
Laschet even described his party’s approach to climate as “more promising than (proposed) bans by the SPD and the Greens,” which he accused of threatening to cut jobs and cause social unrest.
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