Thuringia’s Prime Minister Ramelow warns of a strong AfD under Höcke

As of: February 26, 2024 10:53 a.m

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Ramelow criticized Caren Miosga his former party colleague Wagenknecht and warns against a strong AfD. More information needs to be clarified about what program AfD state leader Höcke is pursuing.

Why is the Left losing so much support in the polls in Thuringia? “A problem that the left has had for a very long time is internal discord,” said sociologist Katharina Warda Caren Miosga. In addition, there is a shift to the right that can be felt across Europe. It is very important and right now to set a clear direction. But that is exactly not what is happening and is playing into the hands of the right-wing populists.

“We have a stacking crisis,” said Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow about the conditions in his state. The plan was actually to hold a new election after the resignation of FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich. Kemmerich was elected to office on February 5, 2020 with the votes of the AfD.

The new election was postponed because of the corona crisis. The CDU then opposed it, as a clear red-red-green majority seemed to be foreseeable. Since then, the left-wing politician Ramelow has ruled with a minority government that is tolerated by the CDU. Ramelow defended himself against the accusation that he was “sticking” to the Prime Minister’s office. He would have liked to hold new elections, but there was no majority for it in parliament.

Regret about splitting off from Wagenknecht

The left-wing politician regrets the split of Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht from his party: “For me it is bitter. I shared responsibility for this party with Ms. Wagenknecht. I fought for the broad left, not for this narrow left.” He was very disappointed with how Wagenknecht’s relationship with the Left had developed.

“Now Sahra has gone her own way and founded a party that bears her name.” He finds it irritating that someone would give a party his own name. Ramelow also criticized Wagenknecht for remaining open to voting with the AfD.

Incompatibility decisions the CDU

In the CDU, the left is still viewed critically. “There are many points that make me say you can’t form a coalition with them,” said the former Federal Interior Minister and current chairman of the Telekom Foundation, Thomas de Maizière. The CDU politician formulated his party’s incompatibility decision with the AfD and the Left Party in 2018 and still considers it to be correct. Accordingly, one cannot form a coalition or work together with either the AfD or the Left.

Prime Minister Ramelow and Thuringia’s AfD state leader Björn Höcke are both not coalition partners for the CDU for different reasons, said De Maizière. De Maizière did not want to comment on possible negotiations between the two parties if, as expected, the AfD becomes the strongest force in Thuringia.

The former CDU executive committee member said he didn’t want to give his party in Thuringia any advice. The CDU’s top candidate in Thuringia, Mario Voigt, had definitely ruled out a coalition with the Left. His predecessor Mike Mohring, on the other hand, had recently publicly called for this.

Lack of demarcation to the right?

“What I miss in the CDU is a very clear demarcation to the right,” said sociologist Warda. There is “a flirtation” between the CDU and the AfD in the east, for example in their home state of Saxony-Anhalt.

CDU politician De Maizière didn’t want to accept that: “Our demarcation from the AfD is crystal clear – from the party chairman to everyone else.” However, it is important not to become dependent on the AfD. You also have to agree to applications if the AfD also agrees.

“The AfD sets the agenda by breaking taboos,” said the former interior minister. According to de Maizière, there needs to be more talk about the matter and less about possible coalition options and cooperation between the parties.

At least here he agreed with Ramelow. “There is no talk about the danger posed by the AfD,” said the Thuringian Prime Minister. According to him, more information needs to be clarified about the program AfD state leader Höcke is pursuing instead of arguing about possible coalitions.

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