The new election in Thuringia has failed – the country is facing a solid government crisis. In view of the concerns about the AfD, there is no solution in sight. Accusations are loud.
Erfurt – A government crisis is raging literally “in the middle of Germany”: Thuringia is stuck in a serious parliamentary dilemma – which intensified again on Friday. There is no sustainable majority in the state parliament. And now, among other things, the long-awaited plans for a new election on the date of the federal elections have also burst on Friday.
Now the Free State on Bavaria’s northern border could become a kind of democratic experimental field. It currently looks as if Bodo Ramelow * (left) will remain head of government. But that is not certain either.
Thuringia: The dissolution of the state parliament also fails because of the CDU – Ramelow’s red-red-green can only hope
The country could now face chaos in particular: After four CDU MPs had indirectly torpedoed the new election plans with their announced resistance, parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt no longer wants to extend the “Stability Agreement” with red-red-green – nor does it want to conclude a new one. This had previously guaranteed agreements and cooperation between the Left, SPD, Greens and CDU * as well as the waiver of joint projects with the AfD. The latter was a clause that mainly affected the CDU anyway.
How it should be governed is unclear. The left as well as the Greens reject another attempt to dissolve the state parliament. “It is not up to a parliament to discuss its dissolution every year,” said left parliamentary group leader Steffen Dittes on Friday. His green counterpart Astrid Rothe-Beinlich spoke of a “line of business”. The legislature in Thuringia lasts until the end of 2024.
Good advice is therefore expensive. SPD parliamentary group leader Matthias Hey spoke of a community of fate in which red-red-green is now. The three government factions would approach the CDU and FDP “to try under democrats to keep this country on course”.
Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Thuringian Left, Health Minister Heike Werner, wants to talk to the CDU and FDP about whether parliament can soon vote with changing majorities. It is important that there is now a certain amount of trust between red-red-green and CDU and FDP, she said dpa. Their hope, however, remains vague. “I hope that what has happened here will settle over the summer break” and “that common sense wins”.
Ramelow and the Democrats in Thuringia in a quandary: Landtag majorities not in sight
Even a vote of confidence by Ramelow is probably not an option. The head of government did not repeat such mind games on Friday anyway. At the same time, experts warn against this step – because in this way a state political Waterloo could repeat itself: Exactly the constellation that made FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich the 5 percent and 3-day Prime Minister by the grace of the AfD * in spring 2020 .
Which addresses the core of the problem: the role of the Thuringia AfD in the Erfurt state parliament, which has long been classified as a suspected case by the protection of the constitution. The right-wing populists – including hardliner Björn Höcke – sit in parliament with 22 members. This results in two problems. On the one hand, in view of the 29 representatives of the left-wing parliamentary group, there is no arithmetical possible ruling coalition for the CDU and FDP: the CDU, FDP, Greens and SPD do not have a majority in the 90-strong state parliament, and the federal party has ruled out alliances with the AfD and the Left. On the other hand, all parliamentary groups want to avoid working with the AfD. Stable alliances are simply impossible – and even project-related collaborations are a feat.
The Erfurt political scientist André Brodocz sees the parties in a self-created dilemma. The AfD had “the power,” he explained – “because the others made their behavior dependent on that of the AfD.” Brodocz said that it was unwise because it had upgraded the AfD dpa. But it also shows the “difficulty of many parliaments in dealing with a larger AfD parliamentary group”.
Kemmerich’s election with Höcke’s votes was the big bang: Thuringian state parliament in permanent concern of the AfD
The big bang of this problem occurred in spring 2020. In the autumn 2019 election, the red-red-green coalition lost its majority. The attempt to confirm Ramelow as Prime Minister in the last ballot with a simple majority of the votes in accordance with state law failed: The FDP nominated its parliamentary group leader Thomas Kemmerich in the last ballot – and not only the CDU, but also the AfD for the Liberals instead of their own Candidates voted, the pro forma election turned out to be a “success”, but above all a scandal. The right-wing populists celebrated the event as a coup.
The Thuringian parties want to avoid becoming a victim of political schemes of the AfD * again. But observers doubt whether this is currently successful. “Nobody wanted to become the AfD’s plaything. There were left, SPD, Greens, CDU and FDP all along. On Friday at 1 p.m. the ball finally floundered in the net, ”commented the Thuringian General from Erfurt.
The dissolution of the state parliament failed on several points: the veto of the four CDU members *, the demand of the left to only go to the vote with a firm commitment of all votes of the CDU, the unwillingness of the FDP to support the project despite good poll numbers. Even a serious fall injury to a left-wing MP made the misery worse. Last but not least, the concern about decisive voices from the AfD camp. The parliament could not be dissolved with a party “who hates parliamentary democracy,” said Dittes.
CDU as “chaos troop”: Left raises serious allegations – political scientist sees greater “embarrassment”
The Thuringian parliamentarians, especially Ramelow’s left – without the majorities beyond the AfD are ultimately not possible – must now be creative in order to bridge the next three years. It is conceivable that ad hoc majorities will be negotiated for the most important projects. Or a haggling over a final dissolution of the state parliament. In the difficult weeks in spring 2020, Ramelow had also offered the CDU to pave the way for her ex-Prime Minister Christine Lieberknecht to become interim head of government. If a new election is made afterwards. At that time there was talk of a “technical government”.
In the meantime it will be billed. Sharp criticism of the CDU came from the parliamentary group on the left: “The CDU is developing into an unreliable chaotic troop that cannot get the door to the right-wing extremists shut, has a fat problem with rights in its own ranks and, like a state party, has party interests above the common good “, said the parliamentary manager of the left-wing group, Jan Korte, the dpa.
One political scientist, however, saw the entire parliament in an unworthy position: “The embarrassment is great that four parliamentary groups fail to get 60 MPs together for the dissolution of the state parliament,” judged the Jena political scientist Torsten Oppelland. (fn with material from dpa) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.