Bavarian leader Söder attacks federal leaders ahead of state election

dpatop - Markus Söder, CSU party leader, stands on stage after his speech at the CSU party conference. Photo: Peter Kneffel/dpa

“This federal government is probably the worst government Germany has ever had,” Söder, who heads the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party, told a party conference in Munich on Saturday. He is harnessing troops from the party’s base in the last weeks of the campaign ahead of Bavaria’s state elections on October 8.

On Saturday, Söder was overwhelmingly reelected as head of the CSU with a 96.56% vote of party members. He ran unopposed. Germany’s federal government is led by the SPD in a coalition with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). The opposition includes the CSU and its sister party, the larger Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

The CSU has an historic hold on Bavarian state politics and Söder is hoping to keep it that way. There is much dissatisfaction in his state with the federal coalition policies and Söder is seen trying to use that backlash to his advantage.

Scholz is doing what he does best in the crisis, the Bavarian leader said, calling the German chancellor a “master of silence.” What is needed now, Söder said, is political action. “The situation is too serious to remain silent.” Meanwhile Interior Ministry Faeser “is erring, she seems increasingly overwhelmed,” Söder said. Söder again called for an “integration limit,” saying that the challenges could not be met any other way. He said yes to humanity, but no to uncontrolled immigration to Germany. “We need a turnaround in migration policy in our country.”