Horst Seehofer will step down as Bavarian premier ahead of the state’s election in 2018, but the veteran politician intends to remain head of the CSU.
Seehofer announced his decision to step down as state premier at a meeting with regional CSU lawmakers in Munich on Monday (4 December) morning, clearing the way for his finance minister Markus Söder to take over.
During the same meeting, the lawmakers unanimously chose Söder as Seehofer’s replacement as the leader of the state government.
Seehofer reportedly told CSU members that he and Söder have a good working relationship — a sign that he backed the finance minister as his successor, even though the two have long have been seen as enemies.
Seehofer is expected to formally step down from the role in early 2018. Bavaria’s state election will be held sometime next autumn.
Earlier this year, Seehofer indicated that he was planning to continue as both Bavarian premier and CSU leader after the 2018 election.
However, the poor performance of the CSU in Septembers general election prompted questions about his leadership.