Spd criticizes no to second tv duel: “merkel chickened out”

Chancellor angela merkel (CDU) has rejected the advance of her SPD challenger martin schulz for a second TV duel, thus raising expectations among the SPD. "Mrs. Merkel is chickening out," SPD secretary general hubertus heil told the german press agency.

"This shows a lack of respect for the burghers and democratic debate," he continued. Merkel refuses to debate the future of education, pensions, care and digitalization. Schulz himself insisted on a written answer from the chancellor.

Schulz had a second direct exchange of blows after the TV duel on 3. September called for. On tuesday evening on ZDF, he complained that many of the issues that concerned the citizens had not even been addressed: "that’s why I wrote a letter to ms. Merkel today and asked her to hold the next duel with me, so that all of these issues can also be discussed."

Schulz himself criticized on wednesday especially the approach to the cancellation. On the sidelines of an election campaign appearance in heppenheim, hesse, he said, "i’m amazed that i’m writing a letter to the chancellor’s office, to the chancellor in person – and the adenauerhaus comments on that and rejects that.The "no" had come from the CDU headquarters. There it was: "angela merkel was happy to take part in a TV duel. This format has been preserved. And she leaves it at that."

Schulz said in heppenheim: "i still assumed that the federal chancellery is not the party headquarters of the CDU, but an institution that serves the country." Obviously this is not the case. "This overlapping of party interests and state functions, it doesn’t work like that." He repeated: "i am available for the job. I expect mrs. Merkel to deign to answer letters i send to her herself."

SPD faction leader thomas oppermann declared on twitter that the then SPD candidate for chancellor gerhard schroder had completed two TV duels, and the then US presidential candidate barack obama even three. "#merkel only dares to do one thing. Why so unsovereign?"

Government spokesman steffen seibert said in response to a journalist’s question about what happened during the cancellation that merkel "was happy to take part in such a duel in this election year out of conviction, because she appreciates the opportunity for a concentrated debate with challenger martin schulz and because it can make an important contribution to shaping the opinions of many citizens". This format has been preserved, especially in addition to burger-question formats. "With this mixture: a duel and many interviews, townhalls and so on, leave it the chancellor."

Seibert had been criticized before the first duel because he had negotiated as a government spokesman with uber his modalities.

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