E.Actually, it should be decided on Wednesday evening whether the base of the Frankfurt FDP supports the planned coalition with the Greens, SPD and Volt in the Römer. It would have been an important decision at least for Frankfurt that would have been perceived nationwide. But this did not happen because the digital general meeting failed due to technical difficulties.
The beginning was bumpy. More than 250 of around 1070 Frankfurt members had dialed in around 7.45 p.m. But just a few minutes later, the nerves of some of the participants were on edge: The video meeting was technically overloaded, and many were not given access. Some got angry and announced that they would challenge a vote, if there was one.
One complained that the whole thing was particularly unworthy of a digital party like the FDP. But they hardly got any further, and the general assembly had still not even officially opened. The district executive, who initially went underground, was apparently working in the background on a technical alternative. Shortly after the FDP party leader Thorsten Lieb apologized for the circumstances a little later, the server collapsed completely around 8:10 p.m. It was the end of an eagerly awaited evening. A little later, the district executive apologized by email. The coming Saturday is under discussion for a new attempt.
It would actually have been about something important: The members should vote on the coalition agreement and a supplementary declaration. The declaration became necessary after a slim majority of the party base voted against the coalition agreement two weeks ago. In the supplementary paper, the coalition partners specify their financial, transport and regulatory policy.
The question was whether the new overall package of contract and declaration would convince internal party critics to agree to the party leadership’s proposal. The former State Secretary Hans-Joachim Otto wanted to introduce a counter-motion that evening, which other liberal politicians without office or mandate, such as the former city councilor Volker Stein or the former employment agency boss Florian Gerster, have also signed.
Now patience is required again
If the coalition agreement had been rejected, the alliance would have threatened to fail before the first working day, although further rounds of negotiations are theoretically possible. On the one hand, the coalition partners want an agreement, on the other hand, there is resentment, especially among the Greens and the SPD, with the FDP. With the now technically and organizationally justified mishap, the formation of the city government is delayed further – a game of patience.
“My impression is that the situation has calmed down a bit,” said party leader Lieb a few hours before the general meeting. The board had recently advertised its application within the party, including in the extended district board meeting on Monday, to which representatives of the local groups and specialist committees were also invited – a kind of vanguard of the grassroots. However, with the demolition of the meeting, the mood in the party is unlikely to have improved. “We now have to speak out promptly and in an orderly manner for the coalition,” said city councilor Nathaniel Ritter in the evening.