Germany’s conservative CDU-CSU alliance may at last have found its candidate to succeed Angela Merkel in September’s general election. But Armin Laschet’s victory over Markus Söder came at a price. The “Union“ – as the alliance of Merkel’s CDU with Bavaria’s CSU is commonly called – is far from united. Although Söder accepted defeat after a dramatic night session in which two thirds of the CDU’s party leadership backed Laschet, even the CDU’s top brass conceded that the Bavarian had scored better with the party’s grassroots members.
The only way to prevent Germany’s far-right, “fascist” AfD party from becoming even more popular is to ban it. Yet political pluralism is part of the bedrock of a democracy.