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SPD party congress: continue, keep it up


The pressure on the left turns out: The SPD decides on their first party congress with the new top duo Esken and Walter Borjans for harmony and against a genuine new beginning.


It is a deeply human need, one knows it from marriages, families, friendships.

After phases of strife, kicking, and grinding, there is a need for harmony, for peace and quiet, even exhaustion, at least for a while. Not even the SPD, the champion of the fight - can withstand an uninterrupted combat mode - against itself.

The federal party convention in Berlin was not the most exciting party since Mannheim, as observers had speculated in advance. In Mannheim, the elders remember, Oskar Lafontaine assassinated in 1995 against Rudolf Scharping.

Despite the victory, the newcomers are not in charge

In Berlin there was no discernible dispute over the future of the grand coalition. There was no showdown between Juso CEO Kevin Kühnert and Labor Minister Hubertus Heil for one of the posts as deputy party chairman. There was no cheeky, provocative word between the representatives of the government SPD and the self-proclaimed representatives of the base around Kevin Kühnert and the two new party leaders Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans. The first day of the congress did not become the fight of the wings. He came to organized group cuddling.

Directed by an exuberant harmony desire after weeks of inner party struggle. The camps of both final teams in the fight for the party presidency had not only fiercely fought on the social networks, they operated with evil allegations and dirty tricks. The candidate pairs themselves were only marginally milder with each other. In the days following the victory of Esken and Walter-Borjans, Olaf Scholz and his comrades from the government and the faction had then made it clear to the new leadership that, despite their victory, they by no means have the sole say.

Power struggle? Which power struggle?

At the congress, the comrades suddenly acted as though there had never been any power struggles over the course and the people. Thus, an impending competition between the government and the base camp was defused in the short term. Actually, the number of deputy party leaders had to be reduced to three. So it would have come to a fight candidate between Kevin Kühnert and Hubertus Heil. In the spirit of Kuschelbärmodus but the number of deputies was quickly increased to five. So there was enough space for both.

The result of the new party leaders was also conciliatory and harmonious: for Saskia Esken, 75 percent of the delegates voted, and for Norbert Walter-Borjans even 89 percent. The followers of the defeated Olaf Scholz and Klara Geywitz thus renounced to pay back the winners of the membership decision in a secret party election.

More at SPIEGEL +

Hermann BredehorstStrippenzieher Kevin KühnertThe man who dominates the SPD

The Union does not have to worry

In return, Kühnert and the new party leaders agreed to a soft motion. It contained hardly any of the sharp leftist demands with which Esken and Walter-Borjan's great hopes aroused a new, clear, clear profile and with which they had won the election. Sharp conditions for the desired "talks" with the CDU and CSU are no longer there - and certainly no concrete ones. No one in the Union has any longer to fear today that Socialists and Democrats could soon disembark. And the SPD ministers may continue to govern. Esken and Walter Borjans, however, lost a bit of credibility right to take office. After all, they have started out as a stalwart leftist, who does not turn so fast on the cuddly path of compromise.


Michael Kappeler / DPA

The comrades agreed today on a "next-so", but in no case may be called "next-so", but from now on officially "no-further-so" means. In truth, they agreed to try for the umpteenth time what they have tried unsuccessfully since the launch of the first Grand Coalition under Angela Merkel in 2005: a revival despite GroKo.

That the party regains its profile is about as likely as a long-lasting new inner-party peace.

Saskia Esken at the SPD party conference: "Out of the low-wage sector"


Kay Nietfeld / DPA

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Source: spiegel

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