CDU General Secretary Peter Tauber to announce resignation | News | DW | 18.02.2018
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CDU General Secretary Peter Tauber to announce resignation

Peter Tauber, the secretary general of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU, plans to resign from his post following a serious illness, according to party sources. A replacement is expected to be chosen in late February.

Peter Tauber has decided to step down as secretary general of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), party sources said Sunday.

The 43-year-old is expected to inform the party's board of his resignation on Monday. Party insiders quoted by news agencies said Tauber wanted to clear the way for his successor to be chosen at a CDU party congress on February 26.

Read moreAs CDU spats, Merkel retains her nerves of steel

Chancellor Angela Merkel nominated Tauber to manage the party in December 2013. During his time in office, he has sometimes been seen as a controversial figure. His support for same-sex marriage, for example, as well as Merkel's humanitarian response to the almost a million asylum seekers who came to Germany in 2015, made him deeply unpopular with some of his more conservative CDU colleagues.

Party sources cited by German news agency dpa said Tauber informed Merkel before September's federal elections that he planned to step aside after a new government had been formed.

Read more: Germany's Angela Merkel finally reaches coalition deal with SPD 

Struggle with illness

Following the election, Tauber was largely absent from talks aimed to form a new coalition government due to inflammatory bowel disease. He underwent an operation in January and for the past few weeks has been recovering near his home near Frankfurt.

"That was an extremely tough time," Tauber told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in early February, adding that he would need "some more time to recover completely."

Read moreMerkel’s CDU critics threaten to block coalition projects

Merkel's conservative bloc — the CDU and its Bavarian ally, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — has struck a deal with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to repeat the grand coalition that has held power in Germany since 2013.

Apart from the role of chancellor, the CDU will fill six ministries in the new government. With Tauber's role soon-to-be vacant, Merkel will have another option as she seeks to allocate top positions to competing factions within her party.

Read moreOlaf Scholz, the man headed to Germany's Finance Ministry?

Several senior CDU officials have called for fresh faces in the party's management following a poor performance in last year's elections.

CDU delegates are expected to back the coalition agreement with the SPD at the February 26 party congress. It's likely they will also use the occasion to elect Tauber's successor. 

Final approval of the coalition deal, however, is ultimately in the hands of the SPD's 464,000 members. They will vote in a postal ballot from Tuesday, with results to be announced on March 4.

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nm/jm (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

 

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