Lorenz Caffier and Frank Henkel may work in different German states but they have a lot in common right now. Both are responsible for the internal security of their federal states – one in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the other in the city-state of Berlin.
Both are members of the relatively conservative Christian Democratic Union, Germany’s ruling political party. And as senior CDU members, Mr. Caffier and Mr. Henkel are both being forced to distance themselves from some of the policies of their party’s leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, all the while trying not to lose their credibility or the party’s. It’s a difficult balancing act.
Both men are plagued by a huge problem in the form of the anti-immigration, right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party. It is the new power on Germany’s right and is threatening to take valuable votes away from the CDU in state elections on September 4 and September 18, not least because of the refugee crisis.