Green leader Omid Nouripour paid tribute to Tübingen's mayor Boris Palmer for leaving the party, but expressed no regrets. "There were reasons why we all had a lot of discussions with each other," he said on Tuesday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". Palmer's step is "respectable and I wish him a good life".
Tübingen member of parliament Chris Kühn described Palmer's exit from the party as a logical step. Kühn told the German Press Agency in Stuttgart that he had moved far away from the party in terms of content and program, especially since 2015. "In this respect, it was a logical step after an estrangement that has become apparent over many years."
Palmer had declared his withdrawal from the party yesterday, as the state party announced. His resignation applies immediately. The mayor had previously declared that he wanted to take a "time out". At the weekend there had been major discussions about Palmer's controversial statements in Frankfurt am Main. Because Palmer had repeatedly caused a stir with his choice of words in recent years, his membership in the Greens was last suspended.
Palmer said the "N-word" several times
In his resignation, which is available to the dpa, Palmer writes to the state executive that he wants to avoid "the current discussions about me becoming another long-lasting burden for the party, for which I have fought with all my heart since 1996". He is very grateful for all the support and responsibility he has received from the party over this long period of time. "For the future, I wish you every conceivable success for our ecological founding concerns and climate protection in Baden-Württemberg."
On Friday, on the sidelines of a migration conference in Frankfurt am Main, Palmer commented on how he used the "N-word". When confronted with shouts of "Nazis out," Palmer told the crowd, "It's nothing but the Star of David. It's because I used a word that you guys frame everything else by. If you say the wrong word , you're a Nazi. Think about it."
The so-called N-word describes a racist term for black people that was used in Germany in the past. Palmer had been heavily criticized for his statements. In a personal statement Monday, Palmer said he "should never have talked like that" as mayor.
"It's also good that the party now has clarity"
Kühn, who sat on the Tübingen district executive of the Greens for a number of years and was the Green Party's state leader, was regarded as an opponent of Palmer's within the party. Regarding the events in Frankfurt, Kühn tweeted on Saturday that, as a native of Tübingen, he was once again ashamed of the mayor of his hometown.
After Palmer left the party, he said last night that he had known Palmer for 21 years and had great respect for his step. Kühn, currently Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Environment Ministry, spoke of a turning point for the Tübingen Greens. "I think he realized that he really made a big mistake," said Kühn. "It's also good that the party now has clarity."