The new coalition of CSU and Free Voters in Bavaria is in place. So nothing stands in the way of Markus Söder being re-elected as Prime Minister. The future division of departments is also clear.
A good two and a half weeks after the Bavarian state elections, the CSU and Free Voters sealed the new edition of their coalition, which has existed since 2018. CSU chairman Markus Söder, Free Voters leader Hubert Aiwanger and the two parliamentary group leaders Klaus Holetschek and Florian Streibl signed the new coalition agreement in Munich.
The discussions in the past two weeks were often not easy, but in the end they were always constructive, said Söder. “We worked well internally, we worked objectively at a high level,” he emphasized.
New trust has also emerged between each other. Aiwanger also emphasized: “We work hand in hand constructively.” There had previously been a significant crunch in the governing coalition. Aiwanger spoke of “skirmishes in the election campaign.”
Election for Prime Minister is imminent
This means that nothing stands in the way of Markus Söder being re-elected as Bavarian Prime Minister. This is planned for next Tuesday (October 31st), one day after the inaugural session of the new state parliament.
Söder’s re-election is a mere formality: the CSU and Free Voters together make up 122 of the 203 members of the state parliament. The two parties negotiated the new coalition within two weeks. In the morning, the party committees gave the green light.
The signing of the new coalition agreement was the first joint appearance by Söder and Aiwanger since the coalition negotiations began. This was interpreted as a sign of the tense relationship between the two party leaders. Nevertheless, both sides had repeatedly emphasized before and after the state elections that they wanted to continue to govern together.
The distribution of departments
After their significant increase in votes in the Bavarian state elections, the Free Voters are now getting a fourth ministry: They are taking over the digital department from the CSU, as the German Press Agency learned from coalition circles.
The new digital minister will therefore be the previous parliamentary managing director of the Free Voters faction, Fabian Mehring. In return, however, they will reportedly have to hand over one of two state secretary positions to the Christian Socialists.
The further division of departments therefore remains unchanged. In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture, over which the CSU and Free Voters had been fighting fiercely for a long time, remains in the hands of the CSU. The Free Voters will therefore retain the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of the Environment.
In addition to the Prime Minister, the CSU continues to provide the Head of the State Chancellery and the European Minister. In addition to the Ministry of Agriculture, it also retains the departments of Interior, Finance, Justice, Transport/Construction, Health, Social Affairs and Science/Arts.
According to Free Voters leader Hubert Aiwanger, the new Minister of Education will be Anna Stolz, the current State Secretary. She is supposed to replace her party colleague Michael Piazolo at the top of the department.
The Free Voters under party leader Hubert Aiwanger gained 4.2 points to 15.8 percent in the state elections on October 8th. They are now the second strongest force in the new state parliament after the CSU – with 37 members, ten more than before. The CSU had lost slightly from 37.2 to 37.0 percent – the number of its representatives remained constant compared to the last legislature.
The CSU and Free Voters had already governed together in the last legislative period. After the election on October 8th, they together have a stable majority of 122 of the 203 seats in the new state parliament.
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.