This district election in Dithmarschen is under special observation of state politics. The result is extremely close. What significance do the AfD’s votes have?
Thorben Schütt becomes the new district administrator in Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein. The 33-year-old administrative lawyer prevailed in the second round of voting against incumbent Stefan Mohrdieck (57) in the district council in Heide. Schütt, supported by the CDU and who said he ran as an independent candidate, received 28 votes from the 54 district council members. Mohrdieck, who has been district administrator since 2018, received 23 votes. There were 3 abstentions.
The upcoming election had made waves in state politics because there were fears that the AfD’s six votes could have a decisive influence. CDU general secretary Lukas Kilian and SPD state leader Serpil Midyatli blamed each other for this.
This is how the seats are distributed
With 21 seats, the CDU is the largest parliamentary group in the district council, the FDP has 6 seats. The SPD has 9 seats, the AfD has 6 MPs, the Greens 5, the Independent Voters’ Community of Dithmarschen (UWD) 4. There are also 3 non-attached MPs.
AfD MPs said after the secret vote that they had voted for Schütt. Schütt replied that he had decided from the start that he would only run if he had a chance of a majority without the AfD. “I was promised such a majority. So I assume that it actually happened.” Some of the AfD MPs walked out during his speech and they didn’t stand up to clap. “In this respect, I think it is absolutely unbelievable that the candidate who has positioned himself very clearly from the start is the one who is elected by an AfD,” said Schütt. He accused the AfD of wanting to damage the elected candidate with such statements. The FDP state chairman Oliver Kumbartzky jumped to Schütt’s side. “I think that’s nonsense,” he said of the AfD’s commitment.
Incumbent Mohrdieck rejects CDU allegations
The defeated incumbent Mohrdieck left the hall after the voting results were announced. In his application speech he complained about political influence in state politics. “If the voting behavior of individual MPs is determined in this way, the AfD will have such an influence on the election result that in the end the actual voting behavior of this group no longer matters.” A few days ago, CDU general secretary Kilian accused Mohrdieck of wanting to be elected with votes from the AfD and put pressure on the SPD, which supported Mohrdieck. The incumbent rejected this.
Mohrdieck raised the question of whether it was still a secret election after what had happened in the past few days. The 57-year-old used his experience to promote himself after five and a half years at the head of the district administration. He is the right district administrator for the upcoming establishment of the Northvolt battery factory and the development of the district.
Schütt promises: administration on an equal footing
Schütt campaigned for administration on an equal footing and announced close cooperation with the parties in the district council. “You would get a young district administrator,” he said, referring to his 33 years of life. But: “It grows quickly.”
After his election, Schütt told MPs that he wanted to get the things done that they decided. “I hope we will work well together.”
Homepage of the Dithmarschen district
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.