Angela Merkel at an Election Rally in Erfurt (August 26, 2005)
After Wolfgang Schäuble resigned in the wake of the donations scandal, delegates at the CDU national convention in Essen elected General Secretary Angela Merkel as their new party chairwoman on April 10, 2000. After the CDU lost the 2002 Bundestag elections, Merkel assumed (in addition to her post as CDU chair) the leadership of the CDU/CSU Bundestag faction, in order to strengthen her position as leader of the opposition. As the CDU’s chancellor candidate in the 2005 Bundestag elections, Merkel called for neoliberal reforms and an unpopular increase in the value-added tax. She also invited Paul Kirchhof, a former constitutional court judge, to join her campaign team as a financial expert. Kirchhof advocated a greatly simplified tax system, but during the campaign the SPD still managed to paint him as an out-of-touch “professor from Heidelberg” who would create an anti-social tax reform. This photo shows a woman embracing Angela Merkel, CDU chairwoman and chancellor candidate, before a Bundestag election campaign rally in 2005. Photo: Martin Schutt.
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