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Member of the Bundestag Nina Stahr was already chairwoman in Berlin from 2016 to 2021

Photo: Jörg Carstensen / dpa

The Berlin Greens have elected Nina Stahr, a member of the German Bundestag, as their new state chairwoman. The current member of the Bundestag already received a clear majority in the first round of voting: 127 delegates voted yes, eleven voted no, six abstained. Thus, the party congress, which was interrupted on Saturday, was successfully ended with a delay.

Stahr, who belongs to the Realo wing of the party, had already been chairwoman of the Greens in Berlin from 2016 to 2021, at that time together with the current parliamentary group leader Werner Graf. One of their main tasks will be to bring the divided national association back together and prevent a further escalation of the situation. For the left wing of the party, Philmon Ghirmai was up for election as co-chairman on Wednesday evening.

The party had been lurched into a leadership crisis since Saturday after delegates let Tanja Prinz, the candidate of the Realo wing for the state chairmanship, fail in three rounds of voting. The party congress was therefore broken off last weekend without a result, the failed candidate had left the meeting in tears.

Chaos after three rounds of voting and leaving in tears

Previously, Prinz had challenged the previous co-chairwoman of the party, Susanne Mertens. Prinz won an internal Realo vote, Mertens resigned. But the party as a whole resented Prinz's approach, winning just under 28 percent of the vote in three rounds of voting – and the party suddenly found itself without a board and threatened to plunge into chaos.

The extent of the crisis in the party is now shown by the election of the old leader Stahr. Although she is considered the "Rudi Völler" of the Berlin Greens, she is actually not allowed to take office: Stahr sits as a member of the Bundestag, so she is a mandate holder. According to the Greens' statutes, she would therefore not be allowed to hold any office in the party. The 41-year-old is not ready to resign from parliament, so there should be an exception for her: a transition period until May next year, when the next state delegates' conference is due.