Parties: Left: Wagenknecht should return political mandate

The Left Board has broken with the Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht and asked her and her fellow campaigners to return their mandates.

Parties: Left: Wagenknecht should return political mandate

The Left Board has broken with the Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht and asked her and her fellow campaigners to return their mandates.

"It is a requirement of political decency and fairness towards the members of our party if those who participate in a competing party's project are consistent and give up their mandates," said a decision by the party executive on Saturday. Wagenknecht has been toying with the idea of ​​founding a new party for a long time. The party leadership has repeatedly sharply criticized this.

"The future of the left is a future without Sahra Wagenknecht," the board resolution continues. It is unacceptable that she uses resources from mandates that she has won for the left to build up a competing party. Wagenknecht has repeatedly stated that she sees no perspective for the left. "To this day, she has not complied with the request to clearly distance herself from a competing party project."

Wagenknecht wants to think about the future by the end of the year

The former faction leader Wagenknecht only confirmed on Friday that she wants to decide on her future in the left and a possible party foundation by the end of the year. She had previously declared that she would no longer run for the Bundestag for the left. On Saturday, when asked, she did not want to comment publicly on the decision of the party executive.

Party leader Janine Wissler said the board was fighting for the unity of the party and against all attempts to split it. Minority opinions would be respected. "But we expect that the party's democratic resolutions will be taken seriously and that they will be observed and not that there will be threats of founding a party in order to put the party on a different course than the bodies that democratically decided on party congresses."

The decision of the board of directors was unanimously approved. Co-party leader Martin Schirdewan said he was assuming that the decision would "largely" also be approved by the parliamentary group. When asked what would happen if Wagenknecht did not resign her mandate, Schirdewan said that "expectations" had been formulated - he was not more specific. According to Wissler, a possible party exclusion from Wagenknecht played no role in the board meeting on Saturday.

There has been a dispute over fundamental positions between Wagenknecht and the party leadership and other members for years. In refugee policy, she spoke out against open borders; she expressed skepticism about vaccination during the Corona period; in her book "The Self-Righteous" Wagenknecht settled accounts with the gender and climate-related part of her party, and when it comes to Ukraine, she also offends with her course, which some consider too close to Russia.

Supporter: Maneuver is a step towards the abyss

But Wagenknecht also has supporters in the party and parliamentary group - such as Bochum MP Christian Leye, who used to work in Wagenknecht's constituency office. He announced on Saturday: "The future of the left is a future without political significance. Sahra Wagenknecht is many times more popular than the party, and today's maneuver is another step towards the abyss." According to Leye, the task of the party executive would have been to moderate the underlying political conflicts.

The head of the left-wing faction in the Bundestag, Amira Mohamed Ali, also criticized the board decision. "I consider today's decision by the party executive of Die Linke to be a big mistake and unworthy of a party that is committed to solidarity and plurality," she wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening. "We have an important task towards our voters and all the people who have no voice without us. Taking board decisions against our own members and publicly speaking out is not part of it!"

Bundestag member Alexander Ulrich criticized: "Instead of thinking about why fewer and fewer people are interested in this party, you continue to work on one of the few popular politicians in your own ranks." Wagenknecht should under no circumstances give back her mandate. "She speaks for millions of people in the population and for thousands of members of the party base who no longer feel represented by this board."

The left has 39 MPs in the Bundestag. In the 2021 federal election, she missed the five percent hurdle and only managed to get in through three directly won mandates. After that, the party suffered some bitter defeats in all state elections.