Hubert Aiwanger under pressure, Markus Söder as well, the coalition in Bavaria on the brink: a political drama is taking place within sight of the state elections. What will follow from today’s crisis meeting?
After the allegations against Bavaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), the coalition committee is meeting this morning for a special session. According to the State Chancellery, Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has “summoned” the free voters for the meeting. Aiwanger should answer open questions there and comment personally. After a subsequent cabinet meeting, Söder wants to provide information about the results.
On Saturday evening, Aiwanger had denied in writing that he had written an anti-Semitic leaflet when he was at school in the 1980s, which the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” had reported on. At the same time, however, he admitted that “one or a few copies” were found in his school bag. Shortly thereafter, Aiwanger’s older brother admitted to having written the pamphlet. So far, however, this explanation is not sufficient.
Chancellor Scholz intervenes
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also called for further clarification from Aiwanger. In addition, the state parliament opposition had massively increased the pressure on Söder and demanded an immediate statement. Depending on this, the Greens, SPD and FDP may want to decide on a possible request for a special session in the state parliament.
A new state parliament will be elected in Bavaria on October 8th. The CSU had always stated that it wanted to continue the coalition with the Free Voters after the election. All the polls up to the end left almost no doubt that this will be possible – with the free voters being between 11 and 14 percent. The CSU has governed the Free State since 2018 together with the Free Voters.
Anti-Semitism Commissioner still sees a need for clarification
The federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, told the editorial network Germany: “Even if the deputy Bavarian Prime Minister should not have written the leaflet at the time as a schoolboy: To have such a letter with the worst anti-Semitic agitation in his school bag and to himself, in his own Words, only “under pressure” to have dealt with the topic of the Third Reich shows a questionable attitude.”
There is still a need for further clarification. In addition, Klein called for a nationwide obligation to report anti-Semitic cases in all schools, which does not yet exist in Bavaria.
The former federal and state chairman of the Free Voters, Armin Grein, says he does not believe in Aiwanger’s dismissal. “I also think that Söder has to swallow it somehow. He can’t resign from Aiwanger now either, because otherwise his whole government will collapse,” he told Bayerischer Rundfunk.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.