THE POLITICAL STRATEGY OF CDU/CSU TOWARDS ELECTION OF THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT IN 1959
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The closure of the second term in office of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, in 1959 naturally brought the issue of finding his successor to the agenda of political debate. The first ones to speak up were the politicians of the CDU/CSU, who were generally convinced that besides the function of chancellor also the post of president should go to the person recommended by them. Their main argument was an unprecedented success of the Christian Democrats in the 1957 election to the Bundestag, when they won an absolute majority of seats in the house. Initially, the presidential issue did not stir up emotions, but gaining momentum over time it eventually became a crucial political problem. It was used by the leading CDU/CSU politicians to play out their struggle for power inside this formation between Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard. The resulting conflict posed a serious threat to the unity of the entire political formation. Although the conflict within the CDU/CSU was finally settled, the events impaired the political authority of K. Adenauer, practically marking the beginning of the end of his political career.
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