Peter Feldmann shouldn't expect any thanks for announcing his retirement for the end of January.

There is great relief that an end to the time seems in sight in which the scandal surrounding Frankfurt's mayor is paralyzing local politics in Hesse's largest city, and also that this will apparently not lead to a voting procedure that would have become ugly and tricky for everyone involved.

But Feldmann's step comes too late.

It is also unclear why he intends to remain in office for another six months and how he intends to fill it during this time.

It can only become a big cramp.

And ultimately it is not even certain whether the mayor will really stop at the end of January.

After all, there is not more than an announcement.

Office with a view of the Paulskirche

In any case, the statement by the mayor in no way reflects the fact that his remaining in office was no longer justifiable when the public prosecutor's investigation began, or at the latest when the authorities brought charges against him.

It has to be said once again: the question of Feldmann's future is by no means a legal question of whether he will one day be sentenced by a court for taking advantage.

Rather, it is about averting damage to the office of mayor and thus to the city of Frankfurt, which occurred at the moment when the public prosecutor's office became active.

The pragmatists among the politicians in Römer will of course trust in Feldmann's promise to actually stop writing at the end of January and start preparing for the upcoming election of the new mayor in the spring.

The main focus will be on who the Greens put up, who do not have a bad chance of getting their candidate through.

Well into next year, the mayoral election will be the dominant topic - even beyond the election day, because the question will then arise as to whether the new mayor will be involved in the work of the coalition and, if so, how.

Only then can the work be given its rightful place again.

Whoever then sits as Feldmann's successor in his spacious office with a view of the Paulskirche - he is inheriting a difficult burden.

Because he must first give back the dignity of the office of Frankfurt mayor, this proud office of a proud city, which has recently suffered badly.

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