Questions and answers about the election: who can govern with the Greens in NRW?

The moment of truth is here: In the evening it will be decided who will govern the largest federal state in the future - will Prime Minister Wüst from the CDU continue or will SPD opponent Kuchaty take over? Questions and answers on the election in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Questions and answers about the election: who can govern with the Greens in NRW?

The moment of truth is here: In the evening it will be decided who will govern the largest federal state in the future - will Prime Minister Wüst from the CDU continue or will SPD opponent Kuchaty take over? Questions and answers on the election in North Rhine-Westphalia.

What's the matter?

If you look at the population in North Rhine-Westphalia, it is the most important state election of all. A good 18 million people live between the Rhine and Weser, which is slightly more than in the Netherlands. For the local people, it's about better pay for teachers, more money for the police, affordable rents and distance rules for wind turbines. There is agreement on the basics: the CDU and the SPD want better education, more police officers and more renewable energies. How, that's the big question. In the case of wind turbines, for example, the CDU wants to maintain a distance of 1,000 meters from the nearest residential area, while the SPD wants to relax that. The SPD wants to make the day-care centers free for everyone, the CDU only for the last three years.

Who becomes prime minister?

Hendrik Wüst or Thomas Kuchaty. The prime minister from the ranks of the CDU only took over the office from Armin Laschet about six months ago after the chancellor candidate had failed in the federal elections. Since then, Wüst has also gained in profile as chairman of the Prime Ministers' Conference. The negotiations on the Corona measures offered him a big stage. At home he shows himself to be a down-to-earth Munsterlander and moderate caretaker. The days of loud sounds, which he used to stand for, seem to be over. He is slightly more popular than his challenger.

Thomas Kutschaty is also a down-to-earth guy and is as typical of the SPD as Wüst is of the CDU. He comes from the Ruhr area, where he grew up in a family of railway workers in Essen and was the first to graduate from high school. In Hannelore Kraft's cabinet, he was Minister of Justice for seven years and has gradually taken over the leadership of the state SPD since the 2017 election defeat. He advertises with an almost classic SPD program and wants to tackle many things - but this will also cost a lot of money.

Will the next CDU triumph follow the victory in Schleswig-Holstein?

no It looks like the CDU will be the strongest force. The polls see the party at a good 30, the SPD behind it at almost 30 percent. But there can't be a triumph like in the north. In Kiel it was immediately clear that the CDU would continue to govern with the Greens or the FDP. In NRW, however, it is still unclear who governs with whom. There are many options. In the end, the SPD could lead a government even if it only received the second most votes.

Who wants with whom?

It is almost certain that the previous black-yellow coalition will be over. So far, it has only had a one-vote majority in the state parliament anyway and, according to polls, would currently only come to 35 plus x percent. It looks good for black and green, which would be a premiere in the state. The Greens with their candidate Mona Neubaur are between 16 and 20 percent. But red-green is also possible, even if that is likely to be very tight. SPD and Greens know each other from many joint governments in Düsseldorf and are still close today. Instead, the magic of a new beginning blows around black and green. In any case, Hendrik Wüst tries his best to highlight commonalities.

Could there also be a traffic light or Jamaica?

That's exactly what the SPD's top candidate Kuchaty is aiming for, should it not be enough for a two-party alliance. The traffic light in the federal government doesn't deter him, he thinks it's good, he said ntv.de. The Greens will certainly first have to be convinced that they would rather go into a three-party alliance than forge a more uncomplicated two-party coalition with the CDU.

And Jamaica? This could happen if it is not enough for black and green either. Then the FDP would have the choice between the traffic light coalition and the Jamaica coalition. It's no secret that the liberals prefer to govern with the CDU - so black-green-yellow would then be more likely. But in the end it's all a matter of negotiating skills. So almost anything is possible - except for an alliance with the AfD or a grand coalition. Before there are, the Berliners recognize that there is a better currywurst in the Ruhr area.

How did the election campaign go?

Some spoke of a mud fight - it was all about the Mallorca affair. Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser flew to Mallorca shortly after the flood disaster last year. This sparked outrage and led to her resignation. The SPD received criticism because a member of parliament's Instagram account is said to have tried to spy on the minister's daughter. In between, the issue of supplying arms to the Ukraine also got heated. All in all, Wüst and Kuchaty tried to be fair. During the TV duel on WDR on Thursday evening, the SPD man even gave the opponent a radio play for his little daughter.

What does that mean for Berlin politics?

The choice is also exciting for everyone who does not live in NRW. Because, no matter how it turns out, if there are new majorities there, it sends a signal to the federal government. While the CDU was able to smile away at its defeat in Saarland and the SPD simply put up with the miserable result in Schleswig-Holstein, things are becoming more difficult in the West. Because of an SPD defeat in North Rhine-Westphalia, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder once called for new federal elections, which led to the grand coalition under Angela Merkel.

Now the election is an important mood test for the traffic light, but also for the Union. Success in North Rhine-Westphalia would give Chancellor Olaf Scholz a tailwind - also because the election campaign was about the war in Ukraine. A victory would also be a confirmation of his rather cautious policy. The same applies to the Union at the federal level. Friedrich Merz has only been chairman of the CDU since the end of last year and also chairman of the parliamentary group of the Union since the beginning of the year. If the Christian Democrats defend NRW, they would have a run in the north after Daniel Günther's success.


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