Bundestag elections: I barely stayed there

The left breaks the five percent barrier, but can still move on to the next Bundestag due to the three direct mandates it won. Now the party wants to reposition itself.

The night was long and the morning started early accordingly. with political repercussions. Left co-chair Susan Hennig-Wilso, along with Dietmar Barch and Janine Whistler, the biggest duo in this federal election, came to Berlin to announce the result that left all three somewhat stunned, or at least frustrated. 4.9% in the Bund means leaving the Bundestag. In fact. But the left can thank Jessen Lutzsch (Lichtenberg), former major Gregor Jesse (Trepto-Kepnick) and Soren Bellmann (Leipzig), all of whom won direct elections in their respective constituencies. Bartsch describes the three direct mandates he won as his party’s “confirmation” that he will be represented in the next Bundestag again – with the power of a parliamentary group with all the rights and privileges of a parliamentary group. And not as a group with limited rights, former parliamentary group leader Bartsch quoted the Bundestag’s rules of procedure: “At least five percent of the members constitute a parliamentary group.” 9 percent – more than five percent of the members of the new Bundestag Parliament. Bartsch himself missed the direct mandate in his Rostock/Rostock 2 constituency.

Hello awake! Or also: what now? In any case, Hennig-Wilso promises a learning process on the first day after the federal election. “This is the last black eye we catch,” says the left co-chair. More: “This is the last chance to develop our party forward.” The left has to learn lessons from this “strong blow”. The next four years should be used to “reorganize the party”. Already this weekend the party leadership will go to a retreat on Saturday and Sunday to discuss the consequences. “We walked away with dark blue eyes,” said someone from Karl-Liebknecht-Haus. Bartsch, Hennig-Wilso and Whistler agree that the last few weeks of the election campaign have not been the real problem. It’s a “complete puzzle” of the reasons for the backsliding – including years of contention. They are in contact with the leader of the former parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Sahra Wagenknecht, who has accused the party of behaving exaggeratedly as a “left-wing lifestyle”. Hennig-Welso has recently brought Wagenknecht and her husband Oscar Lafontaine to campaign jointly in their Weimar constituency. Hennig Welso and Whistler, who have been at the helm of the party since February, now want to “lead the left through this process”. “The worst thing we could do right now (would be) is running off the field in this situation and saying, ‘Let’s do it now,'” Hennig-Wilso asserts.

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In addition to all the red socks, Bartsch is also aware of other reservations that the political competition against his party has brought into circulation, for example in Thuringia, where the Left has its only Prime Minister in Bodo Ramelo. It was said that there would be “no bananas, no sausages” in Thuringia. Ramelow himself encouraged his party on this Monday from the election review with a sentence written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a Thuringian resident famous for his choice: “You can also build beautiful things from the stones laid in your path.”

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