– The Wagenknecht scene begins – without a party programme
The new Sahra-Wagenknecht (BSW) coalition wants to radically change German politics. Clearly, the personnel issue is a sensitive one.
Angelica Slavik from Berlin
Whatever the outcome, the Wagenknecht Desert will not fail due to lack of media attention. The federal press conference in Berlin was packed, as was the case in October when Wagenknecht was at least Leader of the former parliamentary bloc of the leftTo let the world know that she left her old party to soon find a new one.
On Monday, their plans became a bureaucratic reality. The Sahra-Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) is now officially part of a diverse group of parties in Germany. Wagenknecht would soon announce that the papers had been signed in the morning and that they wanted to “permanently change the German party system.” Sahra Wagenknecht is without a doubt the biggest attractioncurrently offered by political Berlin. What is less clear is what lies behind the scene.
The program only after the party conference
The BSW does not wish to develop a specific party platform until after the party's first federal congress at the end of January. The party wants to work with unspecified expert councils. By the time of the federal election, scheduled for the fall of 2025, the following should then be determined: What the Wagenknecht Desert Alliance actually representsexcept for the Wagenknecht Desert.
It is said that an electoral program for the European elections in early June will be presented “soon.” It is the first election in which the BSW wants to run, and the top candidates arrived on Monday: one of them is Fabio De Masi (43), who sat on the left in the Bundestag until 2021 and was also a former MEP. He left the left a year and a half ago and has since consolidated his good reputation across parties as an expert on financial and economic crimes.
The homeless social democrat
The other is Thomas Geisel, mayor of Düsseldorf until 2020 who was honored just a few weeks ago for his 40 years of membership in the Social Democratic Party. It's over now because Geisel (60) said: “The Social Democrats in the tradition of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt seem to have become homeless in the Social Democratic Party.” They both have big plans for the new party, and they leave no doubt about it. “We aim to become a popular party in the medium term,” says De Masi.
The success of this will likely become more evident in the three East German state elections in the fall, and even more clearly than in the European elections. According to Wagenknecht, the basic requirement to compete there is to have a “strong and competent roster” in each of these countries. For young parties, there is always a risk of people getting onto the electoral list whose political orientation or content capacity does not match what they actually want to achieve, says Wagenknecht. This will not happen to BSW. “We will draw up lists of competent people.”
Overall, it is clear that the personnel issue is a sensitive issue for the new party. She wants to go to the founding conference of the party with 450 members, who will be accepted in the coming days. “We've gotten to know them all” over the past few weeks, Wagenknecht says. And we want to keep it that way in the future: instead of becoming members right away, those interested must first register as a “supporter” or “sponsor.” You can help with the election campaign or contribute financially.
Donations are in demand – BSW has so far raised around €1.4 million. This is a large number for a party whose exact location is still unknown, but not enough to run four election campaigns in one year.
When accepting new members, the party first wants to verify exactly who they want to join. “We'll just have to see if they're not the wrong people,” Wagenknecht says.