Brussels (Brussels Morning) Yet another conservative lawmaker from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party has resigned his seat in the Bundestag amidst pressure over lobbying allegations, Deutsche Welle reports.
CDU representative from Thuringia, Mark Hauptmann, resigned on Thursday, just two days ahead of important local elections and just after two of his colleagues – Nikolas Löbel and Georg Nüsslein – had resigned over suspect mask procurement deals that came into focus over the weekend.
Protecting his family
Hauptmann quit his seat after a report by Spiegel, had accused him of receiving money from foreign agencies for Azerbaijani, Taiwanese and Vietnamese tourism ads that ran in a CDU-aligned local newspaper he publishes in Thuringia.
The CDU lawmaker denies having received any money from foreign agencies, and claims that the ads in question never influenced his political decisions. However, he reportedly opted to , resign purely to “protect his family”, claiming that “the hostility towards my person has become too great”..
Even though Hauptmann has not been linked to the mask procurement scandal, the party is under increasing pressure over its lobbying links. All 245 current Bundestag CDU members have been given until Friday evening to submit declarations in writing that they have in no way benefited from pandemic-linked trading.
The resignations, and the scandals that preceded them, are threatening to make significant inroads on CDU’s popularity ahead of this weekend’s state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.