The former Bavarian Economics Minister Franz Josef Pschierer has switched from the CSU parliamentary group to the FDP parliamentary group.

He and the FDP parliamentary group leader Martin Hagen announced this on Wednesday afternoon at a press conference in Munich.

The Swabian CSU politician cited “unacceptable events” in his Swabian constituency as one of the reasons for his move – on Monday evening it became known that a new candidacy for the state parliament would be disputed by an opposing candidate from the CSU.

Pschierer was also considered a critic of CSU boss Markus Söder.

Timo Frasch

Political correspondent in Munich.

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Pschierer has been a member of the state parliament for the CSU since 1994, and was a member of the cabinet for ten years.

From 2008 to 2013 he was State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, then in the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) finally made him Minister of Economics in March 2018 - but he only stayed for eight months: Because the free voters got the Ministry of Economics after the election, Pschierer went away empty-handed.

According to the CSU, he never got over it.

The result was also an estrangement from the CSU chairman.

Pschierer, who was also head of the CSU SME Union, did not shy away from public criticism of Söder.

For example, Pschierer was one of the critics of Söder's former Corona course early on - Pschierer was often very much on the FDP line here.

Pschierer also disliked Söder's interim focus on environmental and climate protection.

With the new addition, the FDP should hope for additional votes in the state elections in autumn 2023.

In 2018, she narrowly made it into parliament with 5.1 percent.

In surveys it has been five to seven percent in recent months, most recently six percent.

The CSU reacted on Wednesday with sharp criticism of Pschierer's step.

The parliamentary manager of the state parliamentary group, Tobias Reiß, tweeted: "Obviously someone forgot his character in the minister's body ... pathetic."

Fabian Mehring, the parliamentary director of the Free Voters in the state parliament, told the FAZ: "The FDP seems to be grasping at every straw to distract from their federal political failure and stay above the five percent hurdle in Bavaria," he said.

“It remains to be seen whether Franz Pschierer, of all people, who has already been sorted out by the CSU, can make a contribution.

When a politician at the end of his career turns his back on the party to which he owes his entire career, that certainly has a stale aftertaste.”