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Dietmar Bartsch, still leader of the Left Party's parliamentary group: "The country currently needs a left-wing opposition so urgently"

Photo: Melissa Erichsen / dpa

The parliamentary group of the Left Party in the Bundestag met on Monday for what is expected to be its last meeting before it dissolves on 6 December. The background to this is the split of ten members of parliament around the former parliamentary group leader Sahra Wagenknecht. In the future, both camps want to organize themselves as separate groups in parliament.

"In the next week of the session and also in the remaining two years, we will continue to act very actively as the Left," said the outgoing parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch. "People will hear from us and our positions will be perceived both in the German Bundestag and outside."

The situation is very acute because of the unresolved budget issues: "The country currently needs a left-wing opposition so urgently, and that will be our task." However, Bartsch rejected CSU leader Markus Söder's proposal for new elections. "The question of new elections does not arise at the moment, even if I see that the government is currently sinking into chaos." Söder had brought new elections into play next June because of the budget crisis and the ongoing dispute in the traffic light government.

Bartsch did not yet say when the Left Party will apply to the Bundestag to be recognized as a group. "You can assume that we will make the application if it is admissible and reasonable. And you can also be sure that he is suitably prepared." The group status will be decided by the Council of Elders and then by the plenary of the deputies.

Due to the dissolution of the parliamentary group, which has already been decided, all of its 108 employees will be dismissed for the time being. Some of them are likely to join the Left Group or the Wagenknecht Group at a later date. Group spokesman Michael Schlick said after Bartsch's statement: "Thank you for coming. Then maybe until next time, or else sometime."