Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, who clearly won the state elections with her SPD at the end of September, has announced coalition negotiations with the Die Linke party in Mecklenburg-Vopomern. The CDU, which has so far taken part in the decision-making process, therefore remains the opposition role.
From 1998 to 2006, the SPD already ruled in the northeast together with the PDS/Die Linke as a junior partner. The alliance forged at the time by then Prime Minister Harald Ringstorff against the will of the federal SPD sparked discussions as the first red-and-red state government in Germany.
In the new state parliament in Schwerin, with 79 members, Red-Red would have a stable majority with 43 seats, 34 members of the SPD alone. On Wednesday evening, Schwesig first informed the state administration, the party council and the reinforced faction about the progress of the explorations before appearing before the press. After the election, the negotiating group she led had talks with its previous partner, the CDU, as well as the left, greens and the FDP.
With the intended change of government partner, Schwesig may also be responding to the desolate situation at the CDU, which has suffered severe electoral defeats in the state and federal government and is looking for new directors. Schwesig had always emphasized that he wanted to form a stable government with reliable partners. That seems more likely to her with the left than with a CDU, in which the rather inexperienced Franz-Robert Liskow goes to the top of the group and in which the party chairmanship with the 67-year-old former CDU top candidate Eckhardt Rehberg is only temporarily occupied.
The CDU reacted with little surprise to Schwesig’s decision. “Even before the election, it was clear that the SPD had little interest in continuing the coalition,” Rehberg said. Politically and personally, the left was apparently much cheaper than his party. CDU faction leader Liskow announced a hard course of the opposition. “The aim of our opposition work will not be to open any chasms, but we will not spare anyone either,” he said.
On the left, despite the sobering election results at the state level, there had been no resignations. Although the party in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern only achieved a figure of 9.9 percent for the first time, the influential top candidate Simone Oldenburg was unanimously re-elected as party leader. The sharp-tongued former headmistress is considered the first candidate for a ministerial position. With nine MPs left, the left is likely to lay claim to just two wards. With the same number of the eight ministries to date, this would mean one more for the SPD.