CSU chairman Markus Söder has confirmed that the resignation of CSU general secretary Stephan Mayer on Tuesday evening is due to health reasons.

He is "really not doing well", it is "a bit of a human tragedy that is behind it," said Söder in the CSU party headquarters in front of journalists.

Apparently it is a psychological problem.

Timo Frasch

Political correspondent in Munich.

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There was a "very long, very human conversation" with Mayer, which the member of the Bundestag for the Altötting constituency had asked for at short notice, according to information from the FAZ;

CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt was also present at the conversation.

“Not the style of the CSU and not mine anyway”

The trigger for the call was apparently a request from the "Bild" newspaper to Mayer about the allegations made by a reporter from the magazine "Bunte".

This had published a report on Mayer's private life, especially on his illegitimate son, to whom he does not confess.

After reading the article, Mayer called the reporter twice, a few hours apart, and threatened him massively.

Literally, Mayer is said to have said to the reporter on the phone: "I will destroy you.

I will find you, I will follow you to the end of your life.” Mayer demanded “200,000 euros in damages”, which the journalist was supposed to transfer on the same day.

He is also said to have demanded that the reporter prevent the magazine from being delivered.

In his press statement, Söder did not object to the portrayal of the present "Bunte" reporter, rather he said that there had been "one or more conversations" between Mayer and the reporter (how many exactly cannot be clarified from his point of view), the "well-spoken words are in no way to be accepted, completely inappropriate and out of the question".

Mayer told him he couldn't remember the exact wording, but if that's the case, then looking back he saw it that way.

Looking directly at the "Bunte" reporter, Söder said: "We were shocked by this choice of words, if it happened like that, and would never repeat it." That "wouldn't be the style of the CSU and mine anyway" .

Mayer, whom he praised for his two months in office, wished Söder "get well soon".

Söder has not yet presented a new Secretary General.

There will be a switch from the CSU presidium during the course of Wednesday, and a decision should then be made "promptly" about Mayer's successor.