Faeser dares a double role: Minister in Berlin and top candidate in Hesse

"I'm going to win," said Faeser on Thursday evening in Berlin.

Faeser dares a double role: Minister in Berlin and top candidate in Hesse

"I'm going to win," said Faeser on Thursday evening in Berlin. "And it's just as clear to me: I will remain Federal Minister of the Interior out of responsibility for our country," said Faeser. "I have the Chancellor's full backing for that."

Criticism of Faeser's decision also came from the ranks of the coalition partners in Berlin. "The now emerging, months-long double burden must not be at the expense of the country's internal security," said Green Party Vice President Konstantin von Notz to t-online. "In times like this, you can't politically dance at two weddings at the same time."

The Hessian FDP state association spoke of a candidacy with a return ticket to Berlin. "A clear decision looks different," said the Liberals.

Hesse's CDU General Secretary Manfred Pentz announced that he would pay very close attention to ensuring that Faeser's ministerial post was "not misused for election campaign purposes". Faeser's dual role as minister and top candidate will be "very demanding," Pentz said.

The left in Hesse called on Faeser to give up the ministerial office: "The office of Federal Minister of the Interior is not a part-time job." AfD federal leader Alice Weidel also asked Faeser to resign from the ministerial office: "This office is not intended to be misused as an election campaign platform," said Weidel to t-online.

Faeser rejected these objections. "It is a democratic matter of course that people who hold offices stand for elections," she said in Berlin. "I will continue to concentrate fully on the office of Federal Minister of the Interior. Now is not the time to campaign."

Faeser received support from her cabinet colleague Marco Buschmann from the FDP. "Without people standing for election, there is no choice and no democracy, so you shouldn't criticize that," wrote the Federal Minister of Justice on Twitter. "Anyone who is concerned that something else will be left behind should name it specifically and criticize the matter."

Faeser described her candidacy in Hesse as a "big matter of the heart". She had "done local and state politics for far more than half my life," she said.

As topics for the state election campaign, she named good working conditions and fair wages, an affordable life from rent to public transport, consistent climate protection and respect and security for all people.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) praised Faeser in the highest tones on Thursday during a visit to Marburg in Hesse. Faeser is "a great woman who can do great things," he said. He assumes that "every Hesse and every Hessin would wish: I would like to have one."

Faeser explained to the "Spiegel" why she did not want to remain in Hessian politics if she lost the election. "I want to create, I want to take responsibility," she said. "I was already the leader of the opposition."

Faeser pointed out that she is not the first member of the federal government to take on a top candidacy in Hesse. The CDU Federal Ministers Walter Wallmann and Manfred Kanther had already done this before her.

The state elections in Hesse will take place on October 8th. The country is currently governed by a coalition of the CDU and the Greens. Recent polls see the CDU as the strongest force. The opposition SPD is behind it, on par with the Greens. In the first decades of the Federal Republic, Hesse was considered the SPD stronghold. Since 1999, however, the CDU has been at the head of the state government.