Mr. Aiwanger, the Union has chosen a candidate for Chancellor: Armin Laschet (CDU).

Was he your preferred candidate too?

Hubert Aiwanger:

With Laschet, we Free Voters in Bavaria and Germany will get a better result than we would have gotten with a candidate Markus Söder (CSU).

We have to make the best of it.


Sounds kind of cynical.

What do you mean?



Sober analysis.

If Söder had become the candidate for chancellor, many Bavarians would say, out of a patriotic feeling: We will vote for a Bavarian.

Now, however, a Bavarian bourgeois voter has no particular pressure to vote for CSU because he does not get Söder, but Laschet.

These voters can vote for the free voters with a clear conscience.

We want to represent a down-to-earth, liberal, value-conservative policy in Berlin as well.

And the other parties are leaving more and more gaps that we Free Voters want to fill.

"These voters can vote for the free voters with a clear conscience"

Source: Martin UK Lengemann / WELT


In Bavaria you are firmly anchored in parliament, but does it also work across Germany?



Elections will be held in Saxony-Anhalt in June.

There the Free Voters are planning to move into the state parliament.

We have just seen that this can succeed in Rhineland-Palatinate, where we jumped the five percent hurdle.

In Baden-Württemberg, too, we improved by almost three percentage points, even if it wasn't enough to move in.

In Saxony-Anhalt I promise a little more.

Because the CDU has spoken out clearly against Laschet there.

That will benefit us because bourgeois voters are looking for an alternative.

An alternative to the CDU and the AfD.


How do the free voters want to position themselves for the federal election?



We are the political force in which common sense still counts.

We do not want black and green, the Union has already blinked too clearly in the direction of green.

I want to keep the Greens out of the government.

Other constellations would be conceivable with the free voters.


Are you organisationally even able to bring in candidates everywhere?


In Bavaria we will not only bet on the second vote, but also fight for the first vote.

But we are also in the process of putting up the candidates outside of the Free State.

We can do it anywhere.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, we will probably occupy all electoral districts.

We have to ensure that we are not only perceived as another Bavarian party.

The chances of this have never been so good.

We are anchored locally.

There are a handful of FDP mayors in Germany, there are no AfD mayors, and the Greens also have no mayors in the area.

Hundreds of free voters occupy the town halls.

We can say our policy model is grounded and not designed and marketed in the back of the house by advertising agencies.


How do you want to convince people in terms of content?

What is typical free voters?


We want a ban on corporate donations to political parties.

The large donations distort competition between the parties and exert an undue influence on politics.

We demand the abolition of pension taxation and inheritance tax.

We want an intelligent hydrogen strategy.

For us, hydrogen is the energy source of the future, so we create climate protection without prohibitions.

Better pay for carers and a focus on regional strengths are very important to us.

This is typical of free voters.

We are anchored in the region, so we focus on rural agriculture and local food production.

Independence, strengthening property, regionality and common sense, that's what it's all about.



In many municipalities, free voter groups are present as independent citizen representatives, why don't you manage to shape them into a movement with a common national political goal?


That has already happened, just not yet widely known.

Many of these independent groups are united under our roof.

In Bavaria there are around 2000 municipalities, there are free voter groups almost everywhere, around 900 are united under our roof.

So there is still room for improvement.

But we see that more and more of the independent groups are looking to join forces.

It is also part of our self-image that we do not want to be a uniform monolithic block at all.

The independence of our local groups makes us strong.

Command and obedience is not our principle, rather conviction and support.


In the past few years you have repeatedly forecast that you will be about to move into parliament.

In fact, they were far from it.

In 2017 you had just as much with one percent as the fun party The Party.

In 2013 it was also one percent.

A long way to go to the five percent hurdle.


I expect the Union to perform significantly weaker than in 2017. The Free Voters have since grown in strength after the state elections.

I think our chances of getting into the Bundestag are 50:50.

The race is open.

We are becoming more visible through our parliamentary groups.

We're better organized.

You also have to focus on the right topics.

With our constitutional lawsuit against the new Infection Protection Act, we are addressing issues that are currently going wrong.


So is the lawsuit just a publicity campaign?


That had to happen.

No, we are concerned with the political nonsense that we want to prevent.

Others have campaigned on the Corona issue, completely ignoring the matter.

The Union has just fought its power struggle on the subject.

In Bavaria, we tried to implement targeted measures against the pandemic in the government.


We don't take Corona lightly.

But after more than a year to relocate the competence to Berlin, that is a mistake.

It counteracts the differentiated corona policy on site.

We try to save what can be saved.


The FDP also wants to move to Karlsruhe ...


All the better.

On Thursday we threw our complaint in the Federal President's mailbox, presented it in Berlin, and it went to Karlsruhe.

We act.


The CSU has approved the law in the Bundestag.

They form a coalition in Bavaria.

How does that fit in with coalition work?

"My opinion is that we should keep the schools open longer in the Free State too"

Source: Martin UK Lengemann / WELT


Against our declared will, the CSU supported the law in Berlin and reduced Bavaria's influence. Now we are complaining, although the CSU probably doesn't like it.

But a coalition has to withstand that, we also have many other issues besides Corona.


It seems that the CSU itself has doubts.

Söder will not apply the rule, according to which schools have to close at an incidence of 165, but instead start operating at 100.

How does that fit together?

A nationwide law that prohibits loosening regionally, but allows tightening regionally?



That is inconsistent.

You can only deviate in one direction and not in the other.

The regulation applies in Bavaria until May 9th.

My opinion is that we should also keep schools open longer in the Free State.

If the vaccination progress is good with the teachers, if the positive rate for the students is low and tests help identify the positive students quickly, then we should allow alternating classes over 100.

Many parents want that, teachers' associations have so far been rather critical, but many teachers also support it.


You are seen by many as an appendage of the CSU in Bavaria in the coalition.

Do you want to finally become more self-confident?


We Free Voters have not worked confrontationally, but rather collegially and honestly, and we want to continue to practice that way.

But we need to articulate our opinion more clearly.

The public impression is apparently that we are constantly being ripped off by Söder, and calls to leave the coalition keep coming up on the net.

Apparently from Greens who absolutely want to go in ...

The work in the Bavarian coalition is good and successful, we mustn't let ourselves be unsettled here, we may have to sell our work better.

Both coalition partners have the mandate to govern our country properly.

And we do.