Punishment for Scholz's indecisive policy in the regionals

The results of the legislative elections this Sunday in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia have fallen like a jug of cold water on the tripartite of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Liberals (FDP) that governs Germany.

Punishment for Scholz's indecisive policy in the regionals

The results of the legislative elections this Sunday in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia have fallen like a jug of cold water on the tripartite of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Liberals (FDP) that governs Germany. With the exception of the environmentalists, who continue their ascendant race and managed to almost triple their percentages of the vote compared to the elections five years ago, both the SPD and the FDP suffered considerable losses, the first with the worst result in their history in a region. traditionally industrial and mining, which until recently was considered the "heart" of German social democracy, and the latter by losing more than half of its electorate, but also its role as a minor partner in the coalition that governed until now led by the Christian Democrats (CDU), the great winners of the elections.

Quite a disaster for the Federal Chancellor, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who has come under fire for weeks for his hesitant and indecisive stance on Russia's invading war in supporting Ukraine in all its demands for aid. The affair has led to an appreciable loss of popularity for Scholz and the SPD, which in regular polls on national voting intentions have been overtaken by the conservative opposition for more than two months in a row. “I would not assume the thesis that the result of the regional elections supposes a confirmation or rejection of the policy of the federal government”, affirmed this Monday despite everything the general secretary of the SPD, Kevin Künert, although he recognized that the subjects of national interest and international had dominated the campaign.

So painful or more is the blow of the Liberals, who, due to their losses, no longer have enough seats in the Düsseldorf regional chamber to give the Christian Democrats a parliamentary majority and repeat as a minor partner in the ruling coalition. Just like a week ago in Schleswig-Holstein, where the CDU also won, the FDP is practically left out of the new executive and will be resigned to being the minor opposition party. "The tears have dried, now the party bears the responsibility for this defeat", declared today the president of the Liberals and Federal Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, who announced a "reflection phase" and as regards the criticism for his role in the Berlin executive assured that the tripartite coalition in which they participate «was never our dream and if we govern it is because of the responsibility of the state».

The only ones in the coalition who have cause for jubilation are the Greens. In Schleswig-Holstein they doubled their votes from five years earlier and in North Rhine-Westphalia almost tripled them. And in both regions they are the third decisive force with almost 20% of the vote and an inevitable partner to form the new regional governments if the two big ones want to avoid a grand coalition. The ecologists are no longer a minor party, they rub shoulders with the big ones and… Their great pragmatism, which has led them to renounce fundamentalist pacifism to become the first to defend sending heavy weapons to Ukraine to “defend democracy and freedom', while smartly driving energy change in this country, makes them an attractive political alternative. Proof of his popularity is that his federal finance and foreign ministers, former Greens presidents Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock, top the list of Germans' favorite politicians by far. The first for its ability to transmit honest information to citizens and the second for its determined policy on the international markets.

The Christian Democrats also have cause for celebration. After the defeat suffered in the general elections last September and the loss of power in Berlin after 16 years of Angela Merkel's rule, the victories in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein led by young and promising politicians have been a repairing balm But also a confirmation for the new president of the CDU, the veteran Friedrich Merz who took office last January. In the most populous state of Germany with some 18 million inhabitants, Henrik Wüst, the great winner of this Sunday's elections, will continue to govern. The general secretary of the Christian Democrats, Mario Czaja, hopes that his party will reach an agreement with the ecologists to govern together. "The CDU and the Greens have been the clear winners of these elections and the negotiations for the formation of a new government will now go in that direction," said Czaja.

Those who have once again registered an electoral catastrophe this Sunday have been the populists and ultra-nationalists of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) who are suffering from a drain on their popularity. In the Rhenish elections, they narrowly surpassed the electoral barrier of 5% of votes to achieve a nondescript parliamentary representation. A week ago they did not exceed that limit in the northernmost state of Germany and were left out of the regional chamber. The isolation to which they are subjected by the rest of the political forces, which deny them any possibility, not only of alliance, but even of dialogue, keeps them in the blind spot of politics. The radicalization of their positions towards neo-Nazism and their sympathies for the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin have contributed to making them lose followers in the west of the country, although they continue to achieve relevant results in eastern Germany.