Why German media is saying the chancellor is on a ‘sinking ship’

It was a shock that no one saw coming. On Tuesday Volker Kauder, who has headed the parliamentary group of Angela Merkel’s CDU and Bavarian allies CSU for 13 years, lost in a re-election battle to challenger Ralph Brinkhaus, a relative unknown.

Brinkhaus, Kauder’s deputy, received 125 votes to 112 in a secret ballot held on Tuesday afternoon.

The surprising result came a day after Merkel was forced to admit mistakes in her handling of a row surrounding Germany’s outgoing domestic spy chief.

Political observers and opponents called the vote a slap in the face for the chancellor, who had campaigned hard for Kauder’s re-election. …

Earlier on Tuesday, Spiegel Online had said that a win by Brinkhaus would mean that “Merkel should really clean out her office in the chancellery immediately - his election would be nothing short of a vote of distrust against the leader of the government.”

On Wednesday the publication said:  “On paper it was a revolt against the leadership.”

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