Saxony-Anhalt elects a new state parliament. But the consequences could reach far beyond Magdeburg. A lot is at stake, especially for CDU boss Armin Laschet.
- Saxony-Anhalt elects a new state parliament on Sunday – the ballot box is of great national political importance.
- Above all, the election result of the AfD * is expected with concern. The CDU * could face an unpleasant debate before the federal election *.
- Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet faces major strategic problems – and has to hope for the “firewall”.
- This news ticker is continuously updated.
Magdeburg / Berlin – Saxony-Anhalt is not the focus of federal political interest every day – but on Sunday the time has come: the citizens elect a new state parliament *. And the explosiveness of the date is even greater than in the average state election.
On the one hand, the last tangible mood test is imminent before the general election. On the other hand, a high election result for the AfD could put the parties to a severe test. On the one hand, a rather unpleasant coalition will have to be found again – presumably another “Kenya” alliance made up of the CDU *, SPD and the Greens. On the other hand, the Christian Democrats have to keep tendencies towards the AfD in check within their own ranks. The keyword is “firewall”.
Saxony-Anhalt elects a new state parliament: Laschet conjures up a “fire wall” for the AfD – but there are still doubts
CDU leader Armin Laschet left no doubts about the will of the federal party before election day. “One thing is clear to me: Any rapprochement with the AfD cannot be made with the CDU. Anyone who does that can leave the CDU, ”he told the newspapers Funke media group and the French newspaper Ouest-France. And also top candidate Reiner Haseloff * repeated in the last legs of the election campaign the distance between his party and the AfD. “With me there will be no consequences in any way to the right, not even to the left,” he said on Friday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”.
But when you look into the past, doubts could still arise *. The Landtag parliamentary group vices Lars-Jörn Zimmer and Ulrich Thomas had called for talks with the AfD in 2019 – and a “reconciliation of the national with the social”. However, they did not have to “leave the CDU”. On the contrary: you are fourth and fifth on the party’s national list.
State election in Saxony-Anhalt: surveys leave a lot open – it could be tight for “Kenya”
How virulent the topic ultimately becomes also depends on the nuances in the election result. In fact, the last election polls for Saxony-Anhalt were very different *. The ZDF “Politbarometer” from Thursday saw the CDU at least seven percentage points ahead of the AfD. Another panorama was drawn by an Insa survey commissioned by picture. In this Sunday question, Haseloff’s CDU landed at 27 percent – the AfD at 26. Civey also saw one mirror-Survey just a minimal head start for the Christian Democrats. The opinion was 29 percent to 28 percent.
Explosive: It didn’t even seem entirely certain that there would be enough for a new edition of “Kenya”. In the research group elections, the alliance came to 49 percent, which would be enough for a majority in the state parliament. The Insa saw the CDU, SPD and Greens taken together, however, at only 45 percent – a much more sensitive figure. In view of difficult negotiations, possibly even for an alliance of four with the FDP, calls for a turn to the right could grow again.
Laschet before Saxony-Anhalt election under pressure: CDU strategists fear evil for the Bundestag election campaign
For the CDU, the difficult situation radiates into the federal government. The Christian Democrats find themselves in a profiling dilemma. The federal CDU is striving for a more modern, greener, more urban image – while at the same time strong forces in the East German state associations want to move the party to the right. The problem for the federal CDU: With targeted offers to one side of the electorate, it pisses off potential supporters on the other.
If after election day in Magdeburg, despite all the assurances, those in the state CDU should feel the upper hand who are secretly flirting with the AfD, the situation could become even more difficult for Laschet. CDU strategists fear that the Greens and the SPD in the federal government will be supplied with election campaign ammunition for months if the state CDU does not adhere to the “firewall” requirements of their leaders.
And even if that doesn’t happen: If the AfD in Saxony-Anhalt is ahead on Sunday despite all the warnings from the CDU grandees in Magdeburg and Berlin about the economic consequences for the country, the shocks should also be clearly felt in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus be. If you ask around in the CDU and CSU, hardly anyone currently believes that the Bavarian Prime Minister is making another attempt to dispute Laschet’s candidacy for chancellor. But the signal would probably also be devastating for Laschet if even a prime minister as popular in the country as Haseloff could not keep the AfD at bay. Most recently, the Greens and the SPD were obliged to take votes from the AfD.
AfD in Saxony-Anhalt is at the forefront of surveys – the state association is still hard on the right
The problem is also exacerbated by the particularly radical design of the AfD * in Saxony-Anhalt. It is classified as a suspected case by the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Until 2018 Andre Poggenburg led the parliamentary group and regional association of the AfD – he fell not only over internal quarrels, but also over a speech in which he described people of Turkish origin in Germany as “caraway dealers” and “camel drivers”.
Poggenburg’s successor as parliamentary group leader, top candidate Oliver Kirchner *, belonged to the right-wing national, now formally dissolved so-called wing of the party around Thuringia’s AfD leader Björn Höcke. When asked how right-wing extremist he was, Kirchner said in the “Morgenmagazin”: “I’m not right-wing extremist at all.” He never had any contact with right-wing extremist groups.
Kirchner could imagine tolerating a CDU minority government. In no other state parliament is the AfD treated as kindly and collegially as by the CDU parliamentary group in Saxony-Anhalt. “People doze off and drink a glass of wine from time to time,” says Kirchner. One cultivates good company. (fn with material from dpa and AFP) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.