D.he SPD in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania changes its government partner after 15 years. Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, who with her SPD clearly won the state elections at the end of September, announced coalition negotiations with the Die Linke party in Güstrow on Wednesday. The CDU, which has been co-ruling up to now, thus remains the opposition role.
From 1998 to 2006 the SPD had already ruled in the northeast together with the PDS / Die Linke as a junior partner. The alliance forged at the time by Harald Ringstorff against the will of the Federal SPD caused discussions as the first red-red state government in Germany. In the new parliament, which has 79 members, Red-Red has a stable majority with 43 seats, and the SPD alone has 34 members.
On Wednesday evening, Schwesig first briefed the state executive, party council and the strengthened parliamentary group on the progress of the explorations before appearing in front of the press. After the election, the negotiating group she led held talks with the CDU and the Left, as well as the Greens and the FDP as possible government partners.
No chair back on the left
With the intended change of government partner, Schwesig is possibly also reacting to the desolate situation at the CDU, which suffered heavy electoral defeats in the state and federal government and is looking for new executives. Schwesig had always emphasized that he wanted to form a stable government with reliable partners. That seems more likely to her with the left than with a CDU, in which rather inexperienced forces moved to the top of the parliamentary group and in which the party chairmanship is only provisionally occupied.
In the left, despite an equally sobering election result at the state level, there had been no chair shift. Although the party achieved a single-digit result for the first time with 9.9 percent, the influential top candidate Simone Oldenburg was unanimously re-elected as parliamentary leader. The sharp-tongued former headmistress is considered the first candidate for a ministerial office. With 9 MPs left, the Left is likely to claim only two departments. If the number of the eight ministries remained the same, this would mean one more for the SPD.
“The SPD has thus decided in favor of a new departure and a social impetus in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania,” said Oldenburg on Wednesday evening. “Now there is the chance to get our country out of the wage cellar, to strengthen the economy and to put children, young people and families at the center of our work.” Oldenburg announced plans for more teachers, fewer lessons lost and higher quality in daycare centers as well as an industrial strategy that takes climate and environmental protection into account.
CDU is defiant
The CDU reacted with little surprise to Schwesig’s decision. “Even before the election it was clear that the SPD had little interest in continuing the coalition,” declared the incumbent state chairman Eckardt Rehberg on Wednesday evening. “In terms of content, there were no irreconcilable contradictions between the SPD and the CDU in my opinion, not even in the case of a tariff loyalty law related to state contracts.”
The chairman of the CDU parliamentary group, Franz-Robert Liskow, announced a tough opposition course. “The aim of our opposition work will not be to open trenches, but we will not spare anyone either,” he said. “Our goal is to actively monitor government work, to offer alternatives in terms of content, but also to deal with contradictions.”