The controversy has increased in importance because it is responsible for one of the two regions worst affected by the disaster, North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west of the country, Where dozens of people were killed.
The person who also leads the Christian Democrats (CDU), Mrs. Merkel’s party, in the September 26 legislative elections, was cheerfully shocked during an honorary speech by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Located behind the head of state, he is seen in the footage laughing for nearly 30 seconds, accompanied by six people. The two men were navigating the town of Irwistadt, which was particularly devastated by floods.
Not worthAnd the
Disgusting : The video, immortalized by local TV channel WDR, was shared several hundred times on Twitter on Saturday, provoking the ire of Social Democratic politicians, Conservative partners in Merkel’s coalition government and many netizens.
I’m simply speechlessOn Twitter, Lars Klingbeil, SPD general secretary, said:
Personal matter, said another SPD official, Kevin Kunert.
Liberal Party official (opposition) Michael Thurer ruled this by Armin Laschet
Did not live up to the event Flirting
While the head of state paid tribute to the victims.
I regret the impression a conversation gave. That was inappropriate and I’m sorry about that.
Residents of the area also shared their anger:
I grew up in Irfstadt […] Our president’s behavior (regional, editor’s note) is unacceptable and unforgivable One of them, Olaf Waschkiss, tweeted.
The candidate isn’t his first controversy under bad weather: Thursday, he sparked misunderstanding after a journalist was arrested for using the term
Young woman, on the regional channel WDR. A term that many internet users consider paternalistic and sexist.
In the middle of an election campaign
The conservative CDU has been in the lead in voting intentions for the legislative elections, which should appoint a successor to Angela Merkel, in power since 2005.
The Conservatives have a 30% lead, ahead of the Green Party candidate, Annalena Barbock, with 20%, and Olaf Schulz, the SPD (Social Democrat) candidate with 15%, according to a ZDF poll published earlier this week.
Ms. Burbock, who was once at the helm of voting intentions two months ago, then fell into the polls after a series of blunders.
About 170 people, including more than 140 in Germany, have died in Europe in recent days in rare-scale floods caused by torrential rains in the west of the continent.