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Dispute over left-wing top candidacy in NRW: anger against Wagenknecht


At the end of February, the left wants to reposition itself at its party congress - and leave old conflicts behind. But in NRW there is anger about a prominent comrade: Sarah Wagenknecht.

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Sahra Wagenknecht finds it uncomfortable in her regional association in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Photo: Christian Spicker / imago images / Christian Spicker

The comrades in Cologne have let off the pressure: Sahra Wagenknecht's media-effective appearance thwarted our profile as a party of social-ecological transformation, which the outgoing party leadership has been trying to achieve for years, according to the decision of the Left District Executive from last week .

She had harmed the left "by founding the 'Stand Up' rally, she failed as chairman of the parliamentary group and polarized both our party and our electorate."

A critical conversation with Wagenknecht had "unfortunately not borne fruit."

"It is now time that our district association draws conclusions and Sahra withdraws support for the renewed top candidacy."

There is another crack in the left.

And once again the still most prominent representative of the party is at the center of the dispute: Sahra Wagenknecht.

It's about the list party convention of the state association of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is to take place in April.

Wagenknecht, who lives in Saarland, wants to run for the Bundestag again in first place on the NRW list.

But there is resistance to this.

Three of a good 50 district associations voted against this plan.

Ten more could be added, according to the party.

An opposing candidate has also come forward.

Wagenknecht also split the comrades 15 months after their withdrawal from the chairmanship of the Bundestag faction.

Does Wagenknecht fish in the conspiracy milieu?

Wagenknecht has represented Germany's largest federal state in parliament since 2009 without ever having lived there.

Twelve years ago, the comrades on the spot wanted to win Wagenknecht as a prominent draft horse.

It is still about Wagenknecht's positions on the reception of refugees and her theses on the direction of the party.

But displeasure is also growing when it comes to Corona.

While the party leadership was considering whether to join the "No Covid" demand and the left in the three state governments is jointly responsible for the shutdown policy, Wagenknecht is taking a different course - and is fishing in the conspiracy milieu, at least that's how the critics throw it in front.

Sometimes she shows understanding for demonstrators who protested against the anti-corona measures alongside right-wing extremists, and at other times she criticized the Robert Koch Institute in an exaggerated manner.

During her last appearance on Anne Will's ARD talk show, she warned above all about the consequences of the Corona policy for the economy and sounded something like FDP boss Christian Lindner.

This is heating up the debate about Wagenknecht again, also in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The dispute in the regional association comes at an inopportune time.

At the end of February, the Left will hold its digital federal party conference.

Two new chairmen are to be elected there.

Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, head of Thuringia, and Janine Wissler, parliamentary group leader in Hesse, have little to do with the old conflicts of the ex-parliamentary group leader Wagenknecht.

The outgoing party leader Katja Kipping was Wagenknecht's adversary.

The two new women are supposed to fill in the old trenches and ring in a new beginning.

But now the anger in North Rhine-Westphalia shows that not all wounds are healed.

At the end of January Wagenknecht had attended a meeting of the state executive.

In a video conference, according to the protocol available to SPIEGEL, 94 viewers joined in at times.

It should be some kind of discussion with your critics.

Wagenknecht was grilled, she should explain her controversial statements.

It became uncomfortable, as participants report.

Wagenknecht offered to run for number 1 on the state list again, if so desired.

In the end, the board voted.

"The state board DIE LINKE.NRW welcomes the candidacy of Sahra Wagenknecht as the top candidate in North Rhine-Westphalia," says the decision.

15 voted in favor, 6 against, the two state chairmen abstained.

Can Wagenknecht move to Saarland?

Not everyone likes the fact that they voted at all.

So far there have been no recommendations from the state executive for the state lists.

"The state assembly decides who comes first on the list, not the state board," complains about the left-wing district chairman Jens Carstensen in Oberhausen.

"First on the list should be someone who works integratively in the party and is not so polarized," says Inge Höger, the former member of the Bundestag and district chairwoman from Herford.

It is considered unlikely that Wagenknecht will withdraw from North Rhine-Westphalia, even if she has no personal connection to the state.

She lives with her husband Oskar Lafontaine in Saarland.

But because he has now fallen out with parts of his regional association, Wagenknecht should have little chance of simply moving to Saarland.

As the top candidate in North Rhine-Westphalia, she will probably have to reckon with a comparatively poor result at the state party conference.

At least in her constituency of Düsseldorf Süd, she should expect little headwind for a new candidacy.

It is said that the relationship with some functionaries cooled down here too.

But district executive Kea Dettmers says: »Sahra Wagenknecht is not so present in Düsseldorf because she is very busy.

Nevertheless, I think that because of her high profile, she would again have a good chance of running for the direct mandate.

But of course the membership decides. "

Icon: The mirror

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-02-12

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