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Crisis in Thuringia: Red-Red-Green talks to CDU about possible Ramelow election


ZEIT ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates

Erfurt (dpa) - Almost two weeks after the debacle in the Thuringian prime ministerial election, representatives of the left, SPD and Greens in Erfurt today want to talk to CDU MPs about ways out of the government crisis.

So far, the Christian Democrats have refused to actively elect former Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) to the office of head of government.

Ramelow wants to stand for a prime minister election again if he has a majority without AfD votes - this requires at least four votes from the CDU or FDP. The Christian Democrats are prohibited by a federal party convention from any form of cooperation with the AfD and the left. Left, SPD and Greens only get 42 votes in the parliament in Erfurt, 46 votes would be necessary for an absolute majority.

The prime ministerial election in early February caused outrage across the country. The FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich was elected head of government in the third round with the votes of the AfD, CDU and FDP. The 54-year-old resigned three days later and has been managing director until a new prime minister is elected.

The CDU had recently indicated that it might abstain from voting in a new election, so that Ramelow could receive the relative majority required in the third ballot.

Ramelow had last approached the CDU. He was ready to agree with the CDU on tasks such as the state budget for 2021 or an investment program for the municipalities, he told the German press agency in Erfurt. "I hope that it will be possible to make appointments with the CDU so that the emerging state crisis is avoided as far as possible." Ramelow had suggested that he clear the way for an orderly new election after his election - if possible after an agreement on the budget for 2021, in order to keep Thuringia able to act until a state election.

"We also have to make an agreement for new elections together," Ramelow emphasized in the dpa interview. 60 of the 90 votes are needed to dissolve the Thuringian state parliament. Red-Red-Green has a total of 42 votes, the CDU 21 and the FDP 5.

FDP general secretary Linda Teuteberg sharply criticized the former prime minister. "Bodo Ramelow is not acting appropriately to the seriousness of the situation and is fueling the mood through inflationary use of terms such as fascism and the state crisis, instead of contributing to calming down and solving problems," she told Die Welt (Monday).

Despite the resignation of Kemmerich, thousands of people protested in Erfurt on Saturday against the election of the head of government with the aid of the AfD. The AfD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel, on the other hand, said that after the prime minister election in Thuringia, her party "had become a political rock on which the established parties shatter like nutshells". The Thuringian AfD party and faction leader Björn Höcke deserves "the highest respect," said Weidel at a special party congress of the AfD Baden-Württemberg in Boeblingen, at which she had been elected state chair.

Höcke is expected this Monday at almost the same time (6.40 p.m.) for the four-way discussion in Erfurt during the 200th protest march of the Islam and xenophobic Pegida movement in Dresden. Against this there is widespread protest. Under the motto "Democracy needs a backbone", the district associations of the Dresden CDU and FDP as well as the Saxon Library Society (SäBiG) called for a rally on Sunday.

The demonstration is supported by the Saxony State Association of Jewish Communities, the churches and as private individuals, including Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU), Dresden Mayor Dirk Hilbert (FDP) and the Federal Government's new East Commissioner, Marco Wanderwitz (CDU).

Source: zeit

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