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Victory for Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg since 2011. A member of the Alliance '90/Greens, he was President of the Bundesrat and ex officio deputy to the President of Germany from 2012 to 2013. He is the first member of the Greens to serve in these offices. Photo: Facebook

Merkel’s CDU suffer historic losses in state elections

It was a disaster for Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, the CDU: Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate were once their strongholds. Record results of up to 60 percent had previously formed an abundant reservoir of votes for election victories, but six months before the general election in Germany, the exhausted CDU no longer has a free ticket to the Federal Chancellery.

Published: March 15, 2021, 9:52 am

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    The state elections in the two states kicked off the super election year 2021 on Sunday. According to initial forecasts by state broadcasters ARD and ZDF, the previous Prime Ministers Winfried Kretschmann and Malu Dreyer will be confirmed in both federal states.

    Many CDU members blamed negative news coverage about masks, but Jörg Schönenborn from the ARD pointed out that the effects of the mask affair had been limited for the CDU. The reason: the high proportion of postal voters. They had cast their vote before the scandal became known.

    The Greens can now look forward to a new record result and gains in Rhineland-Palatinate under Prime Minister Kretschmann. According to projections, the free voters there will be represented the state parliament for the first time. The AfD had to accept losses in both states, while on the other hand, the FDP was one of the happy faces on the election evening.

    With this terrible result, it is not impossible that Merkel will have to hand over her office to SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz or the Greens in autumn. Scholz has already spoken of a “progressive formation of a government”. The CDU and CSU are on the defensive, ironically because the SPD had wanted to free itself from the clutches of the grand coalition four years ago.

    In contrast to Scholz, the FDP plays only a minor role in the coalition deliberations of its party leaders Norbert Walter-Borjahns and Saskia Esken. FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing blames the CDU for having given up on the bourgeois-conservative camp.

    In Baden-Württemberg, the CDU, which has mutated into a junior partner, is expecting that the strengthened Greens will be getting rid of them soon. The CDU was reviled by the Greens in the state as an impediment. This development is surprising, especially in Baden Würtemberg, where the automotive industry is being wiped out by the Greens and many livelihoods are at stake.

    Thuringia’s AfD chairman Björn Höcke commented: “The CDU that has been gutted not only in terms of content but also morally has suffered a deserved defeat. The good performance of the deindustrialization and prohibition party. the Greens, in Baden-Württemberg is frightening.”

    Green candidate Winfried Kretschmann will be forming his new coalition – possibly a traffic light alliance of the Greens, SPD and FDP. The once decimated SPD can now look forward to a few ministerial chairs, with the opposition FDP also hoping to get into the government. Their top candidates have already submitted their applications to the election winner. On ZDF, SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil also saw the result as proof that governments were possible without the CDU.

    The AfD remained on the outside in both state parliaments. It lost votes compared to 2016, but that comes as no surprise, as the trench warfare within the party had been too intense, especially in Baden-Württemberg, and it continues to be destructive in the federal government as well. Baden-Württemberg’s AfD state chief Alice Weidel admitted to ARD that the quarrels in the parliamentary group in the last legislative period had cost them votes.

    The AfD was supposed to consolidate its votes in Stuttgart and Mainz, as a bourgeois-conservative party to the right of the Union. The fact that the Union is now taking revenge by marginalizing the AfD while losing their coalition partners, has been little consolation.

    Jürgen Elsässer, the editor of Compact magazine, commented on the result of the AfD as follows: “The AfD has clearly lost – and that in a situation where it was the only opponent to the unitary block of the lockdown parties and thus had a great unique selling point. That was only possible because [AfD party boss Jörg] Meuthen completely castrated it, so that the public can hardly tell it apart from the FDP. The self-dwarfing will continue with Meuthen.”

    The CDU debacle goes hand in hand with the rise of the Greens, while the FDP can be bought with ministerial positions. According to Elsässer, the AfD has been damaged by Meuthen’s internal campaign to rid the party of ” extremists”. “The only hope lies in extra-parliamentary resistance,” Elsässer said and pointed out that the new dominant people’s party was the Greens.

    “The Greens is the party of the Great Reset, the direct recipients of orders from [Bill] Gates, [George] Soros and [Klaus] Schwab.”

    Bernd Baumann, parliamentary manager of the AfD parliamentary group, spoke to ZDF about the result: “There is a clear majority in the Federal Republic beyond the left-green group.”  He said the liberal-conservative parties had a majority in both states. In addition, the result of the CDU showed that if they get in bed with the Greens, they lose. When Baumann pointed out that AfD campaigners have ended up in the hospital because of physical attacks on them, CSU General Secretary Blume simply replied: “The role of victim does not suit you.”

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