Bavaria: CSU denies report Markus Söder to replace Horst Seehofer as state premier | News | DW | 23.11.2017
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Bavaria: CSU denies report Markus Söder to replace Horst Seehofer as state premier

An initial report said Angela Merkel's Bavarian sister party would be seeing a shake-up — a report the party quickly denied. Bavaria's state premier, Horst Seehofer, has been under pressure over election losses.

Bavarian broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) on Thursday reported that Horst Seehofer, the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), was to stand aside as the leader of Bavaria's government.

However, the CSU responded quickly, saying that the report — which had cited no sources — was "absolutely wrong."

 A shake-up had been widely expected as senior members of the CSU met on Thursday.

Read more: Things to know about Bavaria's Christian Social Union

According to the BR's initial report, Seehofer was to be replaced by his rival, Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder. BR said Seehofer would remain as leader of the CSU, despite facing pressure from within his party over the asylum policy of Angela Merkel's government.

The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), which stands in Germany's other states.

The report arose amid political wrangling as Germany struggles seeks a way out of an impasse caused by the collapse of coalition talks on Sunday.

Read more: Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies CSU threaten rightward shift

Seehofer is expected to hold talks with senior members of the CSU before the party's executive board publishes a list of its preferred candidates for leadership roles in December. A party conference will make the final decision in mid-December.

During coalition talks, the CSU is understood to have pushed for a new German government to focus on security and curbing immigration. Along with the CDU, the CSU bled support in a September general election to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).  

Read more: Bavaria's Seehofer defies CSU youth wing

In the general election, the CSU lost more than 10 percentage points when it came to the popular vote — tumbling from almost 50 percent to 38.8 percent. The AfD, meanwhile, did better than expected, garnering 12.4 percent.

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