The election of an AfD politician to lead the Gera City Council sparked heated debate in Thuringian state politics. Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, head of the left-wing country, made serious allegations against the CDU, writing on Twitter, “How can a Democratic party you want to be always be the sidekick of a far-right party?”
Representatives of the SPD made similar statements. CDU land chief Christian Hirte rejected this: “The CDU has clearly agreed in the parliamentary group not to vote for the AfD candidate. This is exactly what happened. “
In its meeting on Thursday evening, Gera’s city council elected AfD politician Reinhard Etzrodt as chairman. The retired doctor received 23 out of 40 votes. The AfD itself only has 12 seats in the local parliament. In addition to the left (8 seats), the CDU (6), the citizenship of Gera (3), Für Gera (3), the Greens (3) and the SPD (3) have more than one seat on the city council. The vote took place in writing.
He was proud of the result, Etzrodt said after the election. “It is certainly new that the president of the city council is an AfD member in a larger city.” AfD Bundestag member Stephan Brandner, also a member of the City Council, said: “The majority of Gera City Council has made it clear that the AfD owes All Rights, as are other groups and – which is particularly gratifying – that there are not be left majorities if the whole bourgeoisie stays together. That should be the first and unique in Germany. “
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The East Thuringian SPD member of the Bundestag Elisabeth Kaiser did not speak of a good signal for Gera. The state SPD asked on Twitter whether the Thuringian CDU had learned nothing from February 5. At the time, FDP state parliament member Thomas Kemmerich was also elected Prime Minister of Thuringia with votes from the AfD and CDU. This had led to a political earthquake far beyond the country’s borders. A few days later, Kemmerich stepped down, but remained in office for weeks until Bodo Ramelow (left) was elected.
CDU group chairman Mario Voigt refuted the allegations against his party in the Gera case. “The CDU’s line is clear and that’s why it didn’t vote for the AfD man in Gera,” he wrote on Twitter. “Clear position of the municipal council.”
The election to the City Council presidency was preceded by a monthly dispute over the legality of Gera’s main statute. According to the statutes, the strongest group has the right to propose this position. Since the May 2019 local elections, the AfD was the strongest force at 28.8 percent. Shortly before the first meeting after the election, the state office complained about this passage, but according to the words of Mayor Julian Vonarb (non-party) currently sees no illegality in the paragraph anymore.
Vonarb chaired the meetings so far because of the roughly 15-month hangover around the City Council presidency. He handed over this task to Etzrodt on Thursday for the further course of the meeting. (dpa)