Status: 04.12.2023, 11:08 a.m.
Boris Palmer (independent), Tübingen's Lord Mayor speaks during an interview in the city centre. © Silas Stein/dpa
After leaving the Greens, his need to join a party is close to zero, says Tübingen's mayor Palmer. He joins a club. This is called the Free Voters Association - and has high hopes for Palmer.
Tübingen - Tübingen's Lord Mayor Boris Palmer is running for the list of the Free Voters Association (FWV) in the Tübingen constituency in the local elections in Baden-Württemberg on June 9, 2024. This was announced by Palmer on Monday in Tübingen. Of his motivation, he said, "It's all about the money." For the coming year, 60 million euros in district levy are planned. In the district council, he could have a say in the amount of the district levy and how much money flows back into his city for projects. It makes sense for the mayor to sit in the district council.
The chairman of the FWV parliamentary group in the district council, Thomas Hölsch, said Palmer was a "vote locomotive" for the Free Voters Association. "We are pleased that Boris Palmer will join us next year and, of course, achieve the best possible result for constituency 1 for Tübingen and also for the entire parliamentary group." The FWV would like to become the strongest parliamentary group in the district parliament in the next local elections. There, the Free Voters Association currently has 16 seats, the strongest force is currently the Greens with 18 seats. Palmer said his goal was not to weaken the Greens.
According to Palmer, the county finances are in a deep decline - and the municipalities would be swept away. "The responsibility for this decline lies with the state and federal governments. This is because they entrust us with more and more tasks that we are supposed to pay for but cannot pay. And there are tough distribution battles ahead," Palmer said. He had already considered getting involved in the district council earlier. "But it was out of the question, because with my previous party membership it was clear that the basic line of the party was: mayor out of the district council."
Palmer went on to explain that he is actually doubly concerned with money. "It's about the county budget and the city budget, and it's about membership in the board of directors of the county savings bank." He has now been a member of the board of directors of the district savings bank for 15 years and was sent there by the Green Party in the district council. It was clear that after his resignation from the party, this posting could no longer continue. However, his membership of the Board of Directors and, in particular, of the Credit Committee has been very important for his leadership in recent years. "That's why I asked the parliamentary group if I could run on their list and whether I could pursue the goal of being sent by the parliamentary group to the district, to the board of directors of the district savings bank. I'm allowed to pursue this goal, that's what we've agreed with each other." The rest depends on the outcome of the election. "The better that is, including my personal one, the better the prospects of being appointed to the Board of Directors."
His need to join a party is close to zero at the moment, Palmer said. The only group in which one does not have to become a party member, does not have to become a member of a federal political organization in the district council of Tübingen, is the Free Voters Association. "It's simple," Palmer said.
According to Hölsch, the Free Voters Association (FWV) has nothing to do with the Free Voters party. The FWV was founded in the 50s. After the Federal Association of Free Voters was constituted in 2010, the FWV wanted to protect the name "Free Voters" because it feared a possible risk of confusion as harmful to itself. However, the Regional Court of Nuremberg-Fürth ruled against it in 2010. After that, the Federal Association of Free Voters was allowed to use the term "Free Voters" for itself.
Palmer (51) has been mayor of Tübingen since 2007. In October 2022, he had made it into his third term as head of the town hall as an independent candidate in the mayoral elections at the first attempt. In May of this year, the politician resigned from the Greens after a scandal over the use of the N-word at a migration conference in Frankfurt. Even before that, his membership was suspended because of provocative statements. He had taken a month's break during June. In doing so, he had also sought professional help. Dpa