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The candidates of the individual parties in the survey

Friday, September 1st, 2017 | World News

Prior to the Bundestag elections on 24 September 2017, the parties selected a top candidate or a top candidate candidate. They are leading the election campaign and – at least in the case of the Union and the SPD – are the candidates for the office of the Federal Chancellor.

The two large sections of the people send a candidate for the chancellor, who is to lead the future government in the event of an election victory. The smaller parties usually look to recruit a chancellor candidate, their top candidates give the election campaign mainly a face. In addition, after the election they will usually lead the faction of their party in the Bundestag.

The Bundeswahlleiter decides on admission to the Bundestag election
It is not yet decided how many parties will be eligible for the 2017 Bundestag election. By no later than 7 July 2017 (at the latest 97 days before the election), it must be clear which and how many parties will be admitted to the 2017 Bundestag election. Dieter Sarreither is responsible for the decision, he organizes and monitors the elections and their preparations.

In the presentation of the candidates we limit ourselves to the parties, which are represented in the current Bundestag or in a state parliament with at least five representatives:

(CSU) Angela Merkel (CDU) and Joachim Herrmann (CSU) Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) Martin SchulzBundnis 90 / The Greens (Greens) Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem ÖzdemirThe Left (The Left) Dietmar Bartsch and Sahra WagenknechtFree Democratic Party (FDP) Christian LindnerAlternative for Germany (AfD) Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel Angela Merkel: The constant Chancellor
Angela Merkel has been in office since 2005 and is therefore Europe's most senior government official. (Source: CDU / Laurence Chaperon)

Angela Merkel was born on July 17, 1954 in Hamburg. The studied physicist grew up in the former GDR as a daughter of a priest. During the GDR, she became involved in the youth organization of the SED "Freie Deutsche Jugend", but was never a member of the party. In 1989, she joined the opposition party "Democratic Awakening" (DA), which later united with the CDU. In the Helmut Kohls cabinet, she became Minister for Women and Youth in 1991. In 1994, she took over the position of the Federal Environment Minister.

In 2000, Angela Merkel was elected to succeed Helmut Kohl as CDU chairman. Under a grand coalition of the CDU / CSU and the SPD she became the first German chancellor of Germany in 2005. In 2009, another term of office followed in a black-yellow coalition between the Union and the FDP, as well as an alliance from the CDU / CSU and the SPD. On November 20, 2016, she announced her new chancellor chancery.

Angela Merkel was married from 1977 to 1982 first with the physicist Ulrich Merkel, whose last name she maintained also after the divorce. Since 1998, she has been married to chemistry professor Joachim Sauer in her second marriage.

Joachim Herrmann: The security expert of the CSU
The CSU top candidate Joachim Herrmann wants to win the issue of internal security voices. (Source: ZUMA Press / imago)

Joachim Herrmann was born on September 21, 1956 in Munich. His parents are from Franconia: his father Johannes was professor of legal history, his mother Adele teacher, Herrmann himself grew up in Erlangen, studied law in his hometown and in Munich. As a student, he engaged in the ring of Christian-Democratic students and rose to the deputy chairman of the Junge Union.

After studying, Herrmann pursued a career as a public prosecutor, but initially worked as a government councilor in the Munich State Chancellery, the seat of the Bavarian Prime Minister. Later he settled down as a lawyer.

Hermann was elected to the Landtag in Munich in 1994, and in 2003 he became chairman of the CSU parliamentary group in the state parliament. In 2007, he succeeded Günther Beckstein as Minister of the Interior of the Freistaatats Bayern. A year later, he withdrew his candidacy as Prime Minister and thus ended a party-internal dispute in favor of CSU boss Horst Seehofer.

Joachim Herrmann is married to Gerswid Herrmann, the married couple has three adult children.

Martin Schulz: The convinced European
After the announcement of Martin Schulz's chancellor candidate, the SPD polls initially shot up. (Source: Susie Knoll)

Martin Schulz was born on 20 December 1955 in Hehlrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. After the middle maturity, he broke off the Gymnasium and trained as a bookseller, after which he opened a bookstore in Wurselen near Aachen. At the age of 19 Martin Schulz joined the SPD. At the same time, Schulz became an alcoholic, and since 1980 he has been abstinent.

In Würselen he was elected as mayor from 1987 to 1998, during which time he was elected to the European Parliament in 1994. From 2004 to 2012, he led the Socialist Group as its chairman, and from 2012 to January 2017, Martin Schulz was the President of the European Parliament. In 2014, he ran for the European elections for the post of President of the EU Commission. On March 19, 2017, he was elected as party leader and chancellor candidate for the Bundestag election in 2017 at the SPD party congress.

Martin Schulz is married to the landscape architect Inge Schulz and has two children with her. The self-taught and confident European speaks five languages. Beside German are the English, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.

Katrin Göring-Eckardt: Greens with Christian values
Katrin Göring-Eckardt is the representative of the real-political wing of the Greens. (Source: L. Chaperon)

Katrin Göring-Eckardt was born on 3 May 1966 in Friedrichroda in Thuringia. After completing her Abitur, she studied theology for four years in Leipzig, before she finished her studies. In the time of the Wende, she was among the opposition parties "Democratic Aufbruch", "Demokratie jetzt!" and "Alliance 90".

After the unification of "Bündnis 90" and Greens, Göring-Eckardt assumed different functions with the Greens in Thuringia. Since 1998, she has been a member of the Bundestag, from 2002 to 2005 she was chairman of the party in the Bundestag. She has resigned since 2013. In the same year she was the top candidate of the Greens during the Bundestag election together with Jürgen Trittin.

Katrin Göring-Eckardt married the priest Michael Göring in 1998. The couple separated in 2013. Together with Göring, she has two sons and four grandchildren. She lives with the vice president of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Thies Gundlach.

Cem Özdemir: Swabian accent and Turkish roots
Cem Özdemir is a friend of clear words: in relation to Turkey, he appears as a sharp critic of the Turkish government. (Source: Harry Weber)

Cem Özdemir was born on 21 December 1965 in Bad Urach in Baden-Württemberg. His parents had come to Germany in the 1960s as a guest worker from Turkey. After completion of his vocational school, Özdemir trained as an educator. After completing his university entrance qualification, he studied social pedagogy in Reutlingen. He then worked as an educator and freelance journalist.

At the age of 16 Cem Özdemir joined the Greens and at 18 he acquired German citizenship. In 1994, he joined the Bundestag as one of the first Turkish deputies to leave the country. From 2004 to 2009 he was a deputy in the European Parliament, since 2008 he is one of the Federal Presidents of the Greens, since 2013 he has also been part of the Bundestag.

Cem Özdemir is married to the German-Argentinian journalist Pia Castro, the couple has two common children.

Dietmar Bartsch: The striking inconspicuous
Dietmar Bartsch is the representative of the moderate reform wing of the Left. (Source: DBT / Inga Haar)

Dietmar Bartsch was born on 31 March 1958 in Stralsund. He studied economics in the then GDR and promoted in 1990 to the "Academy for Social Sciences" in Moscow. Bartsch joined the SED as a 19-year-old. After graduating, he worked as the managing director of the former FDJ newspaper "Junge Welt", from 2004 to 2005 he led the business of the "Neue Deutschland", the former central body of the SED.

From 1991 to 1997 he was treasurer of the PDS. Subsequently, he became the Federal Managing Director of the PDS – an office which he retained until 2010 in the respective successor organizations Linkspartei PDS and Die Linke. Dietmar Bartsch was a member of the Bundestag from 1998 to 2002 and again since 2005. On October 13, 2015, he was elected as Chairman of the Left Group in the Bundestag together with Sahra Wagenknecht. The two politicians also lead the party as top candidates in the election campaign.

Dietmar Bartsch is married to Elke Bartsch and has two children.

Sahra Wagenknecht: word-wise and left
Sahra Wagenknecht received much criticism for her attempt to win potential AfD voters for the left. (Source: DiG / Trialon)

Sahra Wagenknecht was born on July 16, 1969 in Jena. After the Abitur in Berlin she studied philosophy and modern German literature in Jena, Berlin and Groningen from 1990 to 1996. In October 2012 she completed her doctorate.

Wagenknecht joined the SED in the turning-year of 1989. In the successor party PDS, she was a prominent representative of the "Communist Platform" for many years. From 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the European Parliament. She has been a member of the Bundestag since 2009 and has been chairman of the Left Group since October 2015 together with Dietmar Bartsch.

Sahra Wagenknecht married the documentary filmmaker Ralph-Thomas Niemeyer from 1997 to 2013. Since 2014, she has been married to the left-wing politician Oskar Lafontaine.

Christian Lindner: The liberal Youngster
The 38-year-old Christian Lindner is to lead the FDP back into the Bundestag. (Source: 2016 Christian Lindner)

Christian Lindner was born on 7 January 1979 in Wuppertal. As a pupil, he founded an advertising agency and studied political science after his high school diploma in Bonn. He later worked as a freelance company consultant and, among other things, founded an Internet company.

Christian Linder joined the FDP at the age of 18, and was elected as the youngest state parliamentary deputy in North-Rhine Westphalia in 2000. In 2009, he succeeded in the Bundestag. In 2012 he returned to North Rhine-Westphalia and took over the chairmanship of the FDP parliamentary group in the Düsseldorf parliament.

From 2009 to 2011, Lindner was the FDP general secretary. Since December 2013, he has been leading his party as Federal President. In April 2017, he was elected as the FDP's top candidate at the Federal Parliamentary Conference, which was to lead the party back into the Bundestag.

Christian Lindner has been married to Deputy Chief Editor of the newspaper "Die Welt", Dagmar Rosenfeld since 2011.

Alexander Gauland: Old-fashioned conservative
Alexander Gauland was a member of the CDU for 40 years, today he leads the AfD into the election campaign. (Source: photothek / imago)

Alexander Gauland was born in Chemnitz in 1941. The son of a retired police president grew up after the Second World War in the GDR. Despite his bourgeois background, Gauland was able to take his high school diploma in his hometown, now renamed "Karl-Marx-Stadt". In order to be able to study, he crossed the border into the Federal Republic. In Marburg he graduated in law at the end of the 1960s. In the early 1970s he worked for the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government in Bonn.

In 1973, Gauland joined the CDU and worked in the press work of the Unions Bundestag. In 1987 he became Secretary of State of the then Minister President of the Hesse, Walter Wallmann. In this function he was the center of the "affair Gauland" from 1988 to 1992. Gauland had pushed the SPD Ministerialrat Rudolf Wirtz against his will and wanted to replace him by a controversial CDU member. Among other things, Gauland had to defend himself against the accusation of perjury. Martin Walser worked on the affair in his key romance "Fink's War".

After the deselection of the CDU government in Hesse 1991 began Gauland a second career as editor of the newspaper "Märkische Allgemeine" (MAZ) in Potsdam. He worked for the "MAZ" until 2005. At the beginning of 2013, Gauland left the CDU. Together with Bernd Lucke and others he founded the party alternative for Germany (AfD). Later he was one of the opponents of the more moderate party-group leader Lucke.

Alexander Gauland has a daughter from a previous marriage. He lives in Potsdam with his life companion, the journalist Carola Hein.

Alice Weidel: The climber
Alice Weidel is to strengthen the economic-political profile of her party. (Source: photothek / imago)

Alice Weidel was born on February 6, 1979 in Gütersloh. After graduation, she studied economics and business administration at the University of Bayreuth. In 2011 she completed her PhD thesis on the future of the Chinese pension system. Weidel worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs and the asset management of the Allianz, before becoming independent as a company consultant.

Alice Weidel joined the AfD in 2013 and was elected to the Federal Executive Board in 2015. She is regarded as an economic expert in her party and, among other things, advocates the withdrawal of Germany from the euro. In April 2017, she was elected top candidate for the Bundestag election at the AfD federal parliamentary party in Cologne, alongside Alexander Gauland.

Alice Weidel lives in a registered life partnership with a Swiss film and television producer, with whom she is raising two children. Weidel lives in Überlingen at Lake Constance and has a second residence in Biel, Switzerland.


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