German ‘center’ right-extreme right one-day-only government

This 5 February 2020 video says about itself:

Germany: Anti-fascists oppose new AfD-backed Thuringia premier

Hundreds of anti-fascists protested outside Thuringia’s parliament building in Erfurt on Wednesday, only two hours after electing Thomas Kemmerich as the new State Prime Minister.

Kemmerich was supported by his own party, the [pro Big Business] Free Democrats (FDP), by the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which threw all of its weight behind him in the third round of voting.

The ruling coalition in the German state of Thuringia, constituted of the Die Linke, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green party, saw its candidate and the incumbent for state premier Bodo Ramelow lose by a single vote.

The migrant and asylum seekers supporting organisation Pro Asyl tweeted that the result of the election was “horrifying” and a “taboo breaker”.

On their official Twitter page, Die Linke accused the FDP of believing that it was “better to rule with fascists than not to rule at all.” …

Thuringia held its state election in October last year. The ruling party Die Linke won the highest share of the votes with 31 per cent, while the AfD doubled its own share and came second with 23.4 per cent. The FDP barely cleared the 5 per cent hurdle required to entire the regional parliament.

One of the signs in this video said: ‘I’d rather be a hog than a nazi‘.

The protests have worked.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Thomas Kemmerich of the German liberal FDP has resigned his position as Prime Minister of the Land of Thuringia. Yesterday, 54-year-old Kemmerich was elected with support from the right-wing AfD, to the dismay of many Germans.

Kemmerich and his colleagues from the FDP have requested the dissolution of the parliament. The party wants new regional elections. …

Indignant responses

The election of Kemmerich as prime minister led to indignant reactions throughout Germany. National party leaders from all walks of life condemned the – indirect – cooperation with the AfD as a ‘taboo break’. People took to the streets in at least six cities. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the headquarters of the FDP in Berlin, speaking with slogans such as “Who betrayed us? The Free Democrats” and “Never again fascism“. …

Bodo Ramelow posted a photo on Twitter that made the comparison between yesterday’s election and the support that Adolf Hitler received in 1930.

In German media, many comparisons were made with the 1930s. “For the first time in post-war history, a head of government has come to power again with the support of a radical right-wing party,” wrote Der Spiegel. The chief editor of the ZDF called it “history denial”. He referred to the 1930s, when a government came to power in Thuringia with the help of the NSDAP [of Hitler]. “Buchenwald end station”, says Frey.

By Christoph Vandreier in Germany, 7 February 2020:

For the first time since the end of the Third Reich, a state premier was elected on Wednesday with the votes of a far-right, fascist party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD). An alliance of three parties, the AfD, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the neo-liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), enabled FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich to assume the highest political post in the state of Thuringia … Twenty-two of the 45 votes for the new premier came from members of the AfD, the second-largest parliamentary group in the state.

Due to enormous protests all over the country, Kemmerich announced on Thursday that he would resign. But until now he has refused to actually step down and thus still remains the first state premier to base himself on the votes of the fascists. It is unclear whether the parliament in Thuringia will dissolve itself and clear the way for new elections or if it will vote in another state premier. Kemmerich could remain in office for months to come.

Twenty-four hours after being elected with the support of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Christian Democrats (CDU), and Free Democrats (FDP) as Minister President of the state of Thuringia, Free Democrat politician Thomas Kemmerich announced his resignation. Kemmerich stated at a press conference Thursday afternoon that his party’s parliamentary group had decided to table a motion to dissolve parliament. If the required two-thirds of deputies fail to support the measure, he would call for a confidence vote in his government. … The Social Democrats (SPD) called for a meeting today of the coalition committee, which regulates disputes within the federal government. “What happened in Thuringia was a cold, calculated plan,” SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil told Spiegel Online. Both CDU leader Kramp-Karrenbauer and the FDP’s Lindner were well aware of the various potential scenarios, he added. Until now, a consensus has existed—“no cooperation with Nazis.” This has now been called into question, continued Klingbeil: here.

MERKEL’S SUCCESSOR TO QUIT AFTER VOTE FIASCO German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s designated successor will quit her role as head of Germany’s strongest party and won’t stand for the chancellorship following a debacle in a regional election. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer informed the conservative Christian Democratic Union that she will begin organizing a leadership contest in the summer. [AP]


7 thoughts on “German ‘center’ right-extreme right one-day-only government

  1. A TORY MP widely condemned for having spoken alongside far-right politicians at a conference avoided suspension yesterday.

    Daniel Kawczynski defied critics to speak at an event in Rome as part of a line-up that included Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Italian Lega leader Matteo Salvini.

    Mr Salvini is an anti-immigration hardliner while fellow speaker Ryszard Legutko is a Polish Law and Justice MEP who has reportedly described homophobia as a “totally fictitious problem.”

    The Shrewsbury and Atcham MP was condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the government’s envoy for post-Holocaust issues, former Tory MP Lord Pickles.

    The Muslim Council of Britain said his presence alongside “Islamophobes and anti-semites” was “unacceptable” while Labour called for the whip to be suspended.

    Labour shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said: “Boris Johnson has once again broken his promise that those who do this sort of thing are ‘out first bounce,’ which is no surprise given his own racist comments, which risk emboldening the extreme far right in our country.”

    A Conservative Party spokeswoman said that the MP had been reprimanded.


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