After the CDU debacle in the federal election, Armin Laschet wants to quickly clarify his successor in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In a meeting of the CDU state executive that lasted several hours on Monday evening, the prime minister offered "to hold the necessary talks with the key figures in the party and parliamentary group for the upcoming reorganization this week and next," as the party announced afterwards.

After the state executive committee, the CDU state parliamentary group also welcomed this approach on Tuesday.

At noon, after the parliamentary group meeting, which lasted a good two and a half hours, even if no name was mentioned in the debate, everything was now moving towards Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst.

Wüst received "remarkably long applause" for his lengthy speech, reported a CDU member.

Pure burger

Political correspondent in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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Parliamentary group leader Bodo Löttgen - who had previously been counted among the camp of the desert skeptics - said that Laschet would announce "after the weekend" who he would propose for the CDU state chairmanship and the top candidacy for the state election next May.

"The parliamentary group will certainly follow this wise vote by a prime minister and state chairman and then discuss how we can elect them as prime minister as quickly as possible," said Löttgen.

So far, building minister Ina Scharrenbach has also been considered a serious contender for Laschet's successor.

Consideration of electing a transitional prime minister

After Löttgen's words, many participants in the state executive spoke out on Monday in favor of handing over the office of party leader and prime minister again in the future. In contrast to Scharrenbach, the 46-year-old Wüst could meet this requirement directly because, unlike his 44-year-old party friend, he has a state parliament mandate, which, according to the North Rhine-Westphalian constitution, is a prerequisite for the election of Prime Minister.

Löttgen reported that there was a “great wish” in the state executive committee and in the parliamentary group that there would be “a personal identity” between the top candidacy and the subsequent election as prime minister. That will be passed on to Laschet for his upcoming talks. So far, the CDU had also considered electing a transitional minister-president who would keep Scharrenbach free until after the state elections. This daring scenario now seems to be off the table for good. "It is important that someone with an official bonus goes into the state election in 2022," said Löttgen on Tuesday.

At a state party conference on October 23rd in Bielefeld, the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU wants to elect a new state chairman, who is also to be chosen as the top candidate for the state elections.

Group leader Löttgen expects Laschet to accept his mandate there a few days later with the constituent session of the Bundestag.

According to the state constitution, Laschet must first resign from the office of prime minister.

The time until the election of the successor should then be as short as possible, said Löttgen.

"We are already aiming to do that within two weeks."