The Hessian CDU wants to change its coalition partner and replace the Greens with the previously opposition SPD. CDU state leader and Prime Minister Boris Rhein announced this on Friday afternoon in Wiesbaden. The decision was made unanimously in the CDU committees. According to Rhein, the coalition negotiations begin on Tuesday. It would be the first CDU-led black-red alliance in the state’s history.
Rhein highlighted major overlaps in content with the SPD. This emerged in the exploratory discussions. The aim now is to write a Christian-social program together with the SPD that combines reason and progress. With regard to the Greens, he said: “Of course they didn’t like the decision.” The decision was also very difficult for him emotionally. The collaboration with the Greens was characterized by great reliability and dependability.
The CDU clearly won the state elections on October 8th, receiving 34.6 percent of the vote. In recent weeks she has held confidential exploratory talks in small groups with both the Greens and the SPD.
Hesse has been ruled by the CDU for almost 25 years. There has been a coalition with the Greens for almost ten years. Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (previously 2010-2014 together with the FDP) governed from 2014 to 2022, and Boris Rhein since 2022. In the October election, the Greens lost five percentage points and reached 14.8 percent. Green Party lead candidate Tarek Al-Wazir, Hesse’s economics minister and deputy prime minister since 2014, saw no mood for change after the election.
The SPD achieved 15.1 percent in the state election with Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser as the top candidate. It was the worst result for the Social Democrats in the country’s history. Faeser, state party leader since 2019, called the result “very disappointing” and complained that she had faced a lot of headwind. Her dual role – election campaigner in Hesse and minister in Berlin – was heavily criticized. There were also concerns within the party.
Faeser now wants to remain in the federal government even in the event of a black-red coalition – and not move to the state government. “I can rule that out, I will remain Federal Interior Minister,” she said on Friday.