North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst and CDU leader Friedrich Merz have demonstrated unity after speculation about an imminent power struggle for the chancellor candidacy. At the summer party of the North Rhine-Westphalian state representation in Berlin, host Wüst welcomed the CDU chairman and Union faction leader Merz at the entrance on Wednesday evening. Smiling and chatting, both walked through the trellis of several hundred guests into the garden of the state representation.
Since the weekend there has been speculation about a possible dispute between Merz and Wüst over the Union's next candidacy for chancellor. The discussion was sparked by a name contribution and an interview with Wüst with pointed statements that were partly understood as a differentiation from Merz.
In addition to Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (both SPD) and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens), Wüst also officially welcomed "the opposition leader in the German Bundestag, dear Friedrich Merz". Merz sometimes nodded during Wüst's speech, after which the two toasted each other with a beer in a closed-off area. Merz, who comes from Sauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia, had a lively chat with NRW Minister of Culture and Science Eva Brandes, and Minister of Labor Karl-Josef Laumann (both CDU) put his hand on his back.