At the party conference in Augsburg, the Left is encouraged that it is still needed. She wants to leave arguments and depression behind her before the 2024 election year starts. And almost no one wants to talk about Sahra Wagenknecht anymore.
The Left is heading into the European election campaign with party leader Martin Schirdewan and former sea rescuer Carola Rackete as the top duo. A party conference in Augsburg confirmed both with a large majority on Saturday evening. You are running as a team with the trade unionist Özlem Demirel and the poor doctor Gerhard Trabert. In the European election program, the party focuses on asylum, climate protection, redistribution and disarmament. The Left is hoping for a fresh start after the break with the wing around Sahra Wagenknecht.
Schirdewan, Rackete, Demirel and Trabert were nominated by the party leadership and received broad support from the delegates. The best result with 96.8 percent was achieved by Trabert, who has been a doctor caring for the homeless and refugees for decades. Like Rackete, Trabert is not a party member.
Left party conference in Augsburg: A scandal on the open stage
While the 35-year-old Rackete had no opposing candidate, federal chairman Schirdewan surprisingly had to compete against another candidate. Hamburger Bijan Tavassoli declared his candidacy and then caused a scandal. Tavassoli used his speech to insult the party and praise Wagenknecht, who had recently left the left. Then he also announced his resignation from the party.
However, Tavassoli had no chance of choosing the candidate and only received around two percent of the vote before he was led out of the hall by security personnel. The party conference presidency spoke of one “disruptive action”Schirdewan of one “unpleasant incident”. Tavassoli had already attracted attention with provocative actions in the past.
Carola Rackete apologizes
Rackete’s candidacy was greeted with great applause by many delegates. She was appointed as captain of the ship “Sea Watch 3” internationally known because she and her crew rescued refugees from distress at sea. In 2019, she responded to a ban by the Italian authorities on the island of Lampedusa.
The day before the election, Rackete caused discontent among some leftists with an interview. She told the portal “Time online”that the left should once again consistently distance itself from the SED past and come to terms with this time. Rackete later explained on X, formerly Twitter, that this “a thoughtless statement” has been. At the beginning of her application speech she emphasized again: “I messed up then.”
15 euro minimum wage in the European election program
In its European election program, the Left is focusing on its classic themes: more public spending and fewer requirements through European debt rules, more taxes on high incomes and corporate profits, strict climate protection, an asylum policy that is as restricted as possible, and a strengthening of the European Parliament in the EU political structure .
The program sees a need for reform in the EU and speaks of this “Anger of many people”, but does not fundamentally question the community. Specifically, the Left put forward a new demand: They are now calling for a 15 euro minimum wage in Germany. Previously it was for 14 euros. The minimum wage is currently 12 euros.
In front of Wagenknecht and her comrades-in-arms
These were the most spectacular party departures in the history of the Federal Republic
“A new chapter”
The European elections will take place in Germany on June 9, 2024. The Left is under pressure from poor election results and the formation of a rival party announced by Wagenknecht. This planned party also wants to run for the European elections.
After the break with Wagenknecht, the party leadership hopes to inspire new members and voters for the Left. That’s why she started the campaign “A left for everyone”. “This weekend we are starting a new chapter”said party leader Janine Wissler in her party conference speech. “The conflicts in recent years have increasingly paralyzed us and could no longer be resolved.”
Structural and strategic tasks were left undone. It’s about making the left strong again and making it the opposition to the traffic light government in Berlin, said Wissler. She pointed out that more than 700 people had joined the party since the break with Wagenknecht. This be “an encouraging signal”.
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.