Due to rising corona numbers, the state elections in Thuringia will be postponed to September 26th – a challenge for the government.
LEIPZIG taz | There seemed to be no alternative to the decision: Rising corona numbers, incidence values at the top of the German population and tightened lockdown regulations prevent the state election planned for April 25 in Thuringia. On Thursday, the chairmen and the parliamentary managing directors of the parliamentary groups as well as the party leaders of the Left, SPD, Greens and CDU decided at a meeting to postpone the state elections to September 26th. The Bundestag election will also take place on September 26th.
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The left-wing parliamentary group leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, whose party gave the impetus for the meeting, had already confirmed to the taz in the afternoon: “It is clear that the election will be postponed.” At this point in time, the specific design was still unclear.
The rescheduling of the election date presents Thuringia with the next political challenge in the middle of the corona crisis. The parliamentary groups have to keep a government stable, whose temporary tolerance has actually expired.
Because the political situation has been shaky since the surprising short-term election of FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich as Prime Minister last February. The election plunged Thuringia into a government crisis, and after four weeks Kemmerich resigned under pressure from outside. The compromise: Red-Red-Green was allowed to govern as a minority government with Bodo Ramelow (left) at the top as Prime Minister – with the support of the CDU in order to be able to form majorities.
After the dam burst
The so-called stability mechanism agreed by the political liaison, however, also included the agreement that the parties involved agree to dissolve the state parliament after the budget was approved in December, thus clearing the way for the extraordinary state elections on April 25.
Prime Minister Ramelow had already expressed skepticism a few days ago as to whether the election date can be kept. The Greens also recently spoke out in favor of a postponement.
Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) told the taz that it was “particularly difficult” for the SPD to move away from April 25th. “The dam break is just too heavy,” says Maier. “After all, it is the same parliament that broke this taboo on February 5th.”
Previously, the coalition factions had tried to get an electoral law on the way to a pure postal vote. However, this met with massive opposition. Maier says he still believes the government will remain stable until a new election date.
If it had been up to the CDU, the elections could have taken place in April despite the high corona numbers. The party will not be the one to question the agreement of spring 2020, the press spokesman Felix Voigt told the taz immediately before the group meeting on Thursday.