Federal party conference: Djir-Saai elected FDP general secretary

Status: 04/23/2022 4:55 p.m

The foreign politician Djir-Sarai is the new FDP general secretary. At the party congress he received 89 percent of the valid votes. In his speech, party leader Lindner had previously advocated the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine.

Bijan Djir-Sarai, member of the Bundestag, has been elected the new Secretary General of the FDP. The 45-year-old received 89 percent of the valid votes at the party conference in Berlin. Djir-Sarai has held the office on an interim basis since December, after the board and executive committee approved his nomination by party leader Christian Lindner. As Secretary General, he succeeds Volker Wissing, who has taken over the position of Minister for Transport and Digital Affairs in the federal government.

He will “never, never, never be an additional government spokesman,” Djir-Sarai said in his application speech. “My mission is FDP. My mission is a successful FDP.” He sees it as the task of the general secretary, but also of the entire party, to make it clear “that we are not part of a political camp, but of course an independent political force of the center”.

Djir-Sarai was born in the Iranian capital of Tehran in 1976. The business graduate was previously deputy district administrator in the Rhein-Kreis Neuss in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the Bundestag, his focus is on foreign policy. The new FDP treasurer is Michael Link, a member of the Bundestag, who will succeed Harald Christ. Link had also been appointed coordinator for transatlantic cooperation by the federal government.

Lindner: “Ukraine will win this war”

The dominant theme at the party congress was the war against Ukraine. In his speech, FDP leader Lindner spoke out clearly in favor of the delivery of heavy weapons. “Ukraine needs heavy weapons. I don’t understand why this statement is a problem for some,” he said.

Ukraine was attacked by Russian President Vladimir Putin because it “made value decisions in the direction of Europe” and thus steered away from Putin’s authoritarian system. In Ukraine, there is also a fight for our values, so “Ukraine must win this war, and Ukraine will win this war,” says Lindner in his speech, which he gave from Washington because of a corona infection. Russia under Putin must be completely isolated.

support for the chancellor

At the same time, Lindner supported Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the dispute over arms deliveries. “The chancellor has the confidence of the FDP and also of their parliamentary group in the German Bundestag,” said the finance minister. The situation demands responsible and serious decisions.

General criticism of the Federal Chancellor cannot be a matter for the FDP, said Lindner. With regard to the Union faction’s request for arms deliveries to Ukraine, he accused the latter of “partisan political exercise” that was inappropriate in times of war.

It also bothers him that the Union faction is also arguing very tactically for the planned 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr, Lindner said. Union faction leader Friedrich Merz said that the traffic light coalition for the necessary amendment to the Basic Law would not be given any more votes than necessary. “What is that more than pure partisan tactics in a question of this historical dimension?” It is a fundamental step, said Lindner. The Union must ask itself whether it is doing justice to its state-political responsibility with this approach.

“Olaf Scholz is a responsible leader”, Christian Lindner, FDP, on Olaf Scholz’s behavior in the Ukraine conflict

tagesschau24 2 p.m., April 23, 2022

Doubts about the Chancellor’s will to lead

But there is also clear criticism of the Chancellor’s course in the FDP – for example from the deputy FDP chairman Wolfgang Kubicki. With a view to the international criticism of Germany’s hesitant attitude when it comes to supplying arms to Ukraine, he said: “The image that many representatives of the largest governing party are presenting in front of the eyes of the world public is not one that can satisfy us as a coalition partner. ”

Kubicki warned: “We simply don’t have time to deal with the ideological ballast of the past.” Concrete and effective military aid for Ukraine is needed. “And some say that the decisive will to lead is also missing at the moment.”

In the run-up to the party congress, the now elected FDP General Secretary, Djir-Sarai, emphasized that he was one of those who called for support for Ukraine very early on. “At a time when others were of the opinion that this war was not part of the coalition agreement.” The FDP has also made it clear in the past few days that support must continue – also when it comes to heavy weapons. “And I’m convinced that time is of the essence here,” said Djir-Sarai. “Ukraine should get any help it needs.”

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