Coalition: CDU man Wegner before jumping into the Red City Hall

After the SPD approved the grand coalition in the capital, the CDU is getting ready to govern.

Coalition: CDU man Wegner before jumping into the Red City Hall

After the SPD approved the grand coalition in the capital, the CDU is getting ready to govern.

The designated governing mayor Kai Wegner nominated future senators on Monday before the last vote of a CDU state party conference. The Vice President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Felor Badenberg, is to become the new Justice Senator. SPD state leader Franziska Giffey wants to move from the Red City Hall to the Economic Senate.

Deep caesura

Berlin is thus facing a deep turning point. For the first time since 2001, a Christian Democrat is to become prime minister. There was the necessary majority for this in the SPD in a member vote - albeit narrower than expected with 54.3 percent yes votes. The last hurdle at party level was the vote of the CDU party conference planned for Monday evening. It will be exciting on Thursday in the House of Representatives to see whether all members of the new black-red coalition will vote for Wegner as head of government.

There was still speculation on Monday about the exact lineup of the Senate. On the SPD side, Giffey, the deputy state chairwoman Cansel Kiziltepe (integration), Christian Gaebler (construction and housing), Ina Czyborra (science) and incumbent Iris Spranger (inside) were traded.

CDU boss Wegner said on rbb Inforadio that he would propose the non-party constitutional protection officer Badenberg to the CDU presidium as a senator for justice. "I think we have an excellent woman who will work for the Berlin judiciary, but also for the people of Berlin," said Wegner.

The 47-year-old Badenberg came to Germany from Iran as a child and studied in Cologne. The lawyer came to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in 2006. She set up the cyber defense department and headed the department for right-wing extremism and terrorism. In 2022 she became Vice President of the Federal Office.

On the CDU side, state politicians Manja Schreiner (environment), Stefan Evers (finance), Katharina Günther-Wünsch (education) and Joe Chialo (culture) were also available as new senators.

SDP faction leader Saleh not in the Senate

Giffey's co-head of state and SPD faction leader Raed Saleh made a conscious decision against a Senate post and justified this to the German Press Agency: "For the same reason that I led the important City of Diversity working group in the coalition negotiations, I will be the new one do not belong to the state government, but control their work, especially that of the CDU, as state and parliamentary group chairman and correct it if necessary." This was probably intended as an appeal to their own ranks in the sense of: Don't worry, we'll keep an eye on the CDU.

Because the SPD state leadership is under pressure. In the repeat elections to the House of Representatives on February 12, the Social Democrats performed historically poorly with 18.4 percent of the vote. The winner of the election was the CDU with 28.2 percent. Giffey and Saleh had decided against the mathematically possible continuation of the coalition with the Greens and Left and in favor of an alliance with the CDU.

split party

Although the membership decision has now confirmed black and red, the party is considered divided. Some comrades fear that the state government will be too conservative in its domestic and integration policies, among other things. Berlin's Juso Chairwoman Sinem Taşan-Funke told the dpa that the result of the member vote announced on Sunday was extremely close. But it is clear that it is to be accepted. "We Jusos will continue to support the SPD's government actions in a critical and solidarity manner," she announced.

Wegner praised the SPD's vote for black and red. "I'm glad that the majority of SPD members have opted for a pragmatic policy," said the CDU man to rbb. He spoke of a "signal of reason".