The captain disembarks

The CSU enters the 2008 state elections with Gunther Beckstein as its top candidate. The prime minister-designate was elected at the party convention in Munich with nearly 97 percent of the delegates' votes. The party has also adopted a new basic program after 14 years, entitled "Opportunities for All!"given. In the paper, the CSU acknowledges its Christian interdenominational roots. Cardinal Friedrich Wetter of Munich praised Stoiber, who is leaving office, as a politician who "convincingly represented Christian principles in important areas of life.

The Munich cardinal stressed that Stoiber had always appreciated and respected the Catholic Church in its role as a value-shaping force, and that he had been aware "that the religious dimension, especially in the way and ecclesiastical form it is pronounced in Bavaria, also has power and significance in today's society". In all his political functions, Wetter says, it was part of Edmund Stoiber's unmistakable profile to base decisions as much as possible on the Christian image of mankind. The traditionally good relationship between church and state in Bavaria has been characterized by mutual respect and has flourished in a cooperation that serves the common good. "As a representative of the ideologically neutral state, the prime minister, who openly professed to be a Catholic Christian, knew about the special mission of the church, which extends beyond its social and cultural commitment and, precisely because of this, connects the land and people of Bavaria with its spiritual foundations," the cardinal wrote verbatim. The Catholic Church, she said, had always found Stoiber to be a willing, open and knowledgeable politician, even on difficult ies, in all its institutions and bodies that were in contact or cooperation with the state. A common concern had been, above all, the transmission and transmission of values to future generations. One had been of one mind when it came to maintaining and stabilizing school religious education for all age groups and school types as a service relevant to society as a whole. The Minister President was interested in the fact that the church, with its comprehensive range of youth, educational and social work, was making its contribution to the humanization of society. This had also applied to all areas of charitable commitment. Stoiber had not closed his mind to critical positions, which, in accordance with the principles of Catholic social teaching, were "to be introduced into the economy in the interests of the needy and disadvantaged".

Much praise from friend and foe Stoiber receives much praise from both his sister party, the CDU, and the SPD on his departure. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) thanked Stoiber on Thursday for "many years of trusting and successful cooperation". Now "an era is coming to an end". The CDU leader added: "They were good years for Bavaria." Vice Chancellor Franz Muntefering (SPD) expressed "respect" for Stoiber's political work and emphasized that "one from the 1. League". SPD Chairman Kurt Beck emphasized: "In the coalition talks in Berlin, we often negotiated hard, but always fairly."FDP leader Guido Westerwelle said, "For all the differences of opinion that we have fought out and will perhaps continue to cultivate. Edmund Stoiber leaves behind a respectable record in Bavaria." Stoiber has "played a major role in ensuring that black has remained a secret national color of Bavaria". But Bavaria was also beginning to "realize that there is something sinister about too much blackness".The mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit (SPD), emphasized that Bavaria was losing "a strong prime minister. He particularly appreciated Stoiber's "Prussian" qualities: "reliability, competence and enormous discipline.Hesse's Prime Minister Roland Koch (CDU) said: "Not only Bavaria, but also Germany and Europe owe a lot to Edmund Stoiber's commitment." His counterpart in Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff (CDU), stressed that the commitment of the outgoing CSU leader was also "immeasurable" for the entire Union. The head of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jurgen Ruttgers (CDU), praised Stoiber as a convinced federalist: "He has understood what makes Germany what it is.

"New basic program After 14 years, the CSU has adopted a new party platform. On Friday in Munich, the party conference adopted the 135-page text entitled "Opportunities for all"!"In the paper, the CSU acknowledges its Christian interdenominational roots. Turkey's admission to the European Union is categorically ruled out.At the request of CSU Secretary General Markus Soder, the term "German Leitkultur" was included in the program. The party conference also decided to anchor in the text the goal of greater military justice. According to the statement, compulsory military service should in future include deployments in the Bundeswehr, but also in civil defense and disaster management.The key economic and social policy concept in the text is "solidarity-based meritocracy". Individual responsibility and cohesion highlighted as key Christian values. Accordingly, the CSU strives for comprehensive justice of opportunities and generations for the weak and the strong. Those who cannot help themselves should reliably experience solidarity. The all-responsible welfare state is an aberration.The Bavarian C-party emphasizes the Christian image of man as the determining standard of its actions. It aims to significantly reduce the number of abortions and rejects active euthanasia. She is sticking to Christian religious education as a compulsory subject. Muslim students should receive their own religious instruction in German and according to state-approved curricula.

Focus on family policy One focus of the new program is family policy. The CSU wants to improve the financial recognition of child-rearing in tax and social welfare systems and advocate for a diverse and needs-based childcare offering. Parents should decide for themselves how to divide family work and gainful employment. The abolition of marital splitting is strictly rejected. A motion by the candidate for party chair, Gabriele Pauli, for a different definition of the concept of family found no support.At the beginning of the discussion a year ago, a pas about same-sex partnerships caused a stir.The program now stipulates that the CSU rejects legal equality with marriage and a corresponding adoption right. At the same time, the party recognizes when partners "reliably take responsibility and care for each other". The program bears the signature of Alois Gluck, chairman of the CSU Basic Principles Commission. The president of the state parliament wants to give up his leadership posts at the end of the 2009 legislative period.

Poll sees Huber clearly ahead of Seehofer In the power struggle for the CSU presidency, Bavarian Economics Minister Erwin Huber is apparently well ahead of German Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer in the favor of CSU supporters. According to the ZDF "Politbarometer", 48 percent prefer Huber as successor to CSU leader Edmund Stoiber. For Seehofer spoke out 30 per cent. Gabriele Pauli, the district administrator for the city of Furth, received only six percent of the vote.The new CSU leader will be elected at the party convention in Munich on Saturday. Huber emphasized on Thursday: "The CDU knows that we are an independent party." He wants to change this as CSU chairman "in no way". There will always be different emphases between the CSU and the CDU.Stoiber called on the Union parties to "work hard" until the next Bundestag elections. In addition, the CDU/CSU must "go into the election campaign with clear statements" in two years' time. Stoiber warned: "So far, the CDU and CSU have succeeded in covering the entire spectrum from the center to the conservative side and have not allowed any democratically legitimate party to emerge on our right. But we must make sure it stays that way."According to the head of the CSU's basic principles commission, Alois Gluck, the CDU "must take great care that the conservative is not only in the program, but also visible in the actions of its leaders". The Bavarian state parliament president announced at the same time that he would vote for Huber on Saturday. He had already informed Seehofer of this in January.CSU party leader Peter Ramsauer left open whether he would vote for Huber or Seehofer. At the same time, he praised Seehofer's willingness to run again for the vice post in the event of an election defeat. This is a "very important message". Ramsauer stressed: "We urgently need him to be among the very top." The CSU party leader added with regard to the election on Saturday: "Nothing is foreseeable until it is counted."However, the Bavarian JU chairman Manfred Weber considers Seehofer's chances to be slim. He said: "I ame that Erwin Huber is really the favorite and will be elected."Weber also hopes for a clear vote for the new party leader. This is important for the representation of Bavaria's interests in Berlin and the question of how strongly "the Bavarian lion can roar".

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