Passau / Ingolstadt (dpa) - The CSU chairman Markus Söder has underlined the role of his party in the question of a common candidate for chancellor of the Union.

The CSU will not interfere in the fight vote for the CDU chairmanship. "The CDU has to decide for itself," said Söder of the "Passauer Neue Presse" and Ingolstadt's "Donaukurier" (Wednesday). With regard to the question of the candidate for chancellor and the election program of the Union, however, it must be clear: "Without the CSU, no candidate for chancellor can become."

To the candidates for the CDU chairmanship - Friedrich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen - he said: "I know everyone very well and can work with everyone." The CDU and CSU are sister parties. "And the party family has to stick together."

Söder warned the Union not to lose its leadership right after the general election. «The coming year will be nothing less than the question of who will be number one in Germany in the future. For the first time in post-war history, this is not decided between the Union and the SPD, but between the Union and the Greens, »said the CSU chief.