At a special congress in Bonn on Tuesday (June 12th), the West German opposition party -- the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) -- elected as their new chairman Dr.
At a special congress in Bonn on Tuesday (June 12th), the West German opposition party -- the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) -- elected as their new chairman Dr. Helmut Kohl.
Dr. Kohl already holds the post of Prime Minister of the Rhineland Palatinate -- one of West Germany's ten semi-autonomous states. At the age of 43, he is the youngest-ever leader of the CDU.
This is the second time that the liberal Roman Catholic has run for the party chairmanship. Two years ago he was decisively defeated by Dr. Rainer Barzel, the man he now succeeds.
This time Dr. Kohl was the only candidate for what is regarded as the toughest political job in the country. He received 520 of 600 votes cast. There were 51 votes again him and 29 abstentions.
Latest reports (June 13th) say that Dr. Kohl has called for a thorough investigation into West Germany's parliamentary bribes scandal 'without regard to the persons involved.
Former CDU deputy Herr Julius Steiner has confessed to accepting 50,000 marks (7,500 pounds sterling) for supporting Chancellor Willy Brandt in a vital no-confidence vote last year.
SYNOPSIS: In Bonn on Tuesday, six-hundred delegates of West Germany's opposition party -- the Christian Democratic Union -- met to elect their new chairman. Outgoing chairman Dr. Rainer Barzel received almost constant applause from the delegates as he summed up his term as party leader.
The votes had already been counted for the election of the new chairman. Out of a possible total of six-hundred, the CDU deputy-chairman Dr. Helmut Kohl received five-hundred and twenty notes.
Forty-three years old, Dr. Kohl is the youngest-ever CDU leader. He already holds the position of Prime Minister of the Rhine Palatinate -- one of West Germany's ten semi-independent states.
His election was unopposed. His predecessor Dr. Barzel had decided not to stand again following differences with his party over European Economic Community entry. It will be Dr. Kohl's first job to clear up these differences within the unsettled party. Indeed, the Christian Democratic Union's opponents jokingly call the party "neither Christian, Democratic, or a Union". Many of Dr. Kohl's fellow-politicians do not envy him in his new post.