Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Christian Social Union in Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU – Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern e.V.) is a conservative political party in Germany. It operates exclusively in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party CDU operates in the rest of the country. Only in 1957 in the state of Saarland (in the first election after it had rejoined Germany) the CSU ran against CDU candidates, but this section of the CSU later merged with the CDU. On the federal level, the CSU is often perceived as the more conservative of the two parties, and at times, especially when the CDU showed weaknesses, there has been considerable tension up to threats to break up the cooperation. Most of the time, however, they work together very closely.
The CSU has led the Bavarian state government practically since it came into existence, and without the need for a coalition government for most of the time. This level of dominance is unique in post-war Germany. On the federal level, it forms a common faction in the Bundestag (Federal Parliament) with the CDU. Edmund Stoiber took over the CSU chairmanship early in 1999. He ran for chancellor in 2002, but lost. In 2003 the CSU was re-elected as the Bavarian government with an overall majority. Franz Josef Strauss (1915-1988) is seen as having set the ideological basis of the party, although he was too young to be a founding leader of the party, which began as a continuation of the Weimar-era Bavarian People's Party.
Chairmen of the Christian Social Union, 1946-present
- Josef Müller 1946-1949
- Hans Ehard 1949-1955
- Hanns Seidel 1955-1961
- Franz Josef Strauss 1961-1988
- Theo Waigel 1988-1999
- Edmund Stoiber 1999-
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