Because of Corona, there is now a switch to a purely digital party conference. Concerns from the eastern federal states are decisive.
BERLIN taz | Learning from the CDU means learning to win, that is the secret slogan of the Left Party in Corona times. Following the example of the Christian Democrats, who elected their entire leadership team online last weekend, the Left Party is also switching to a purely digital election party conference. The party executive decided that at its, also digital, meeting on Saturday afternoon.
At the party congress on 26./27. February the left will now decide on a new tour by online vote. Like the CDU, the Left Party wants to confirm the vote by postal vote.
As designated new chairmen, Janine Wissler and Susanne Hennig-Wellsow from Thuringia have been in the starting blocks for several months. Because of the corona pandemic, the party conference has already had to be postponed twice. It was last planned as a hybrid event with discussions in the network on the first day and regional assemblies of the state associations and elections on the second day.
But the left has now overturned this plan too. In the end, Saxony-Anhalt tipped the balance. Representative assemblies and party conferences are currently completely prohibited there by state ordinance. This means that “not all decentralized party events can be held”, according to the party leadership’s reasoning in their draft resolution, which the taz has received.
Criticism in the population
But there were also massive concerns from other federal states. On Thursday, the party leadership asked the state chairmen in a video conference for their opinions. According to information from the taz, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt in particular were pushing for an online party conference. The incidence values there are currently particularly high. Party events are still allowed in Saxony and Brandenburg. From Saxony it was said that there was “great criticism in the state that parties are taking privileges”.
The signal that the left would have sent if it had called meetings of up to 100 people across the country during what might still be a strict lockdown, also played a role in the decision.
Other state associations accepted the change of plan with regret. Only from Bremen it was said that one felt offended by the initiative of the party leadership. The leadership in Rhineland-Palatinate raised concerns that the change would lead to demotivation of the election campaigners. A new state parliament will be elected there in March. In Baden-Württemberg, where elections take place on the same day, the top left accepted the change.
However, all of the state chairmen agreed that it was time to get elected. Nobody in this group spoke out in favor of postponing the party congress again.