Boris Palmer continues to be belligerent after his victory in the mayoral election in Tübingen. "A democracy in which there is no dispute is not one," he told the German Press Agency, citing a saying by the late former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (SPD).
Palmer's membership in the Greens is currently suspended due to arguments about breaking taboos and allegations of racism. "I think the negative evaluation of the word dispute is a serious mistake," said Palmer. "I think this party should argue."
Palmer was elected mayor for another eight-year term on Sunday. According to the city, he prevailed against his competitors with an absolute majority of 52.4 percent of the votes. And that against the resistance of his own party: Palmer did not run for the Greens because of internal party troubles, but as an independent candidate. His party membership is suspended until the end of 2023.
Greens state association reacts cautiously
Hundreds of citizens gathered in front of City Hall on Sunday evening to watch the results being counted - and to congratulate Palmer. But boos could also be heard. Around 69,000 Tübingen residents were eligible to vote. Palmer's competitor Ulrike Baumgärtner, who ran for the Greens, got 22 percent of the votes, Sofie Geisel (SPD, supported by the FDP) 21.4 percent of the votes. Voter turnout was unusually high at 62.6 percent.
Palmer: "Let's shake hands after the argument"
Palmer said conciliatory words to his opponents on Monday: "Let's approach each other and shake hands after the argument," the 50-year-old wrote on his Facebook page. "The times ahead are hard enough." You can only overcome them if you are strong and united inside. He wants to make his contribution to this over the next eight years, says Palmer.
He also thanked his supporters. "It's an unusual situation to go into an election campaign like this without a party behind you." His intention and his offer is to campaign for his party, to join and to uphold the values that are important to him. Ecology is the unifying bond of the Greens, which he will emphasize more in the future.
Palmer has been mayor for 16 years. He had declared in advance that he no longer wanted to compete in the second ballot if he was not ahead in the first round.