In Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff was only elected in the second ballot on Thursday morning when the Prime Minister was elected.

In the first ballot, only 48 MPs voted for the CDU politician in a secret ballot.

The so-called Germany coalition of CDU, SPD and FDP has 56 of the 97 seats in the state parliament.

49 MPs voted against Haseloff.

After the announcement of the result, the meeting was suspended and the political groups withdrew to deliberate.

An hour later, the CDU parliamentary group leader proposed a second ballot.

In this vote, 53 MPs then voted for Haseloff.

43 voted against him with one abstention.

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

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The 67-year-old Haseloff actually wanted to start his third term with a clear majority in the first ballot. The Catholic from Wittenberg led a coalition of CDU and SPD from 2011 to 2016 and then from 2016 to Thursday the so-called Kenya coalition of CDU, SPD and Greens.

The election result of the state elections of June 6, 2021, in which the CDU gained 37.1 percent, would even have mathematically made it possible for Haseloff to return to a two-party coalition with the SPD.

Both parties together only had a one-vote majority of 49 seats in the state parliament.

That seemed too tight for the CDU leadership, which had repeatedly struggled with dissenters in its own ranks in recent years.

Because already when he was elected in 2016, Haseloff did not achieve the required majority in the first ballot.

At that time only 41 MPs voted for him.

The so-called Kenya coalition then had 46 mandates.

Many dissatisfied people in the CDU

Dissatisfied MPs in the CDU parliamentary group in Magdeburg are suspected to be the reason for this defeat. Some of the MPs who were considered to be possible deviants no longer belong to the new state parliament. However, even before the failed election on Thursday, reference was made to existing and new dissatisfactions.

The former interior minister and CDU state chairman Holger Stahlknecht (CDU) was dismissed by Haseloff last December after a dispute. Stahlknecht, who was long considered a potential successor to Haseloff, won his constituency again in June. When putting together the new cabinet, Marco Tullner, the previous education minister and Halle CDU district chairman, was no longer taken into account. When the group leadership was put together, Ulrich Thomas and Lars-Jörn Zimmer lost their previous positions as deputy chairmen. Both had campaigned for a right-wing course for the CDU.

The CDU parliamentary group chairman Siegfried Borgwardt reported on Wednesday that all CDU mandate holders had voted for Haseloff in a trial vote of the parliamentary group on Wednesday. The SPD and FDP had also announced closed votes for Haseloff. The fact that the coalition agreement met with widespread approval from the three parties also ensured reassurance. The high number of dissenters in their own ranks - there are at least eight MPs in the first ballot - clearly indicates that the trenches in Magdeburg will continue, presumably especially in the CDU parliamentary group.