On Thursday it will be decided whether the Greens in Saarland will remain excluded from the federal election. If the judgment stands, the image damage for the federal party and Annalena Baerbock would be immense. In the farce around the Saar election, the top candidate plays a central role.
It’s been a good week for Annalena Baerbock so far. That has rarely happened recently. With the presentation of her immediate climate program, Baerbock reminded voters of what the party and top candidate actually stand for. Look here, that’s how we want to change the country! That was the message. Meanwhile, a rather unhappy-looking Armin Laschet ( CDU ) stamped through the flood area in North Rhine-Westphalia and was greeted with boos for his crisis management as the father of the country. The corresponding survey values were promptly added in the evening. According to the FOCUS magazine survey, the Greens are only two percent behind that of the Union. So is the crisis over for the green top candidate? Rather not.
Today, Thursday, of all times, there is a lot going on for Baerbock, probably even more than the previous personal mistakes of the past few weeks. In the small Saarland, the electoral committee decides whether the Greens can even be elected there in the upcoming federal elections. This was preceded by weeks of party leadership that could further damage Baerbock’s reputation and cost the Greens tens of thousands of votes. But how did it come to this?
Everything starts with an exposure Flashback. It all started with a formality. In fact. Tina Schöpfer, the state chairwoman of the Greens in Saarland, took office at the end of June to be elected to number 1 on the state list after five years in office. Without an opponent. So it’s a sure-fire success. Then they voted. Once. Twice. 3 times. The result just didn’t want to change. Schöpfer failed the delegates time and time again.
The fact that Schöpfer was exposed by large parts of her national association was no coincidence, one in particular made sure of that personally. Hubert Ulrich, himself from 2004 to 2017 Chairman of the Greens in Saarland Parliament. Ulrich has shaped the relatively small regional association for years. As chairman of the powerful Saarlouis local association, which leads a third of all 155 voters, hardly anything moves in the Saar-Greens without him. And so, on closer inspection, it was hardly surprising that Ulrich of all people was ready to take first place on the list from the killed creator, who is the only one in the small Saarland that means a secure parliamentary mandate. In the end, there were 95 yes votes for Ulrich, which should not fail to have an effect at the federal level.
Waiter speaks of a “debacle”, Baerbock “wishes it different” The reaction of the federal board in the person of federal manager Michael Kellner and top candidate Annalena Baerbock was drastic. The fact that a man suddenly led the state list instead of a woman was interpreted by the party leadership as a violation of the current federal women’s statute, according to which the female candidate must always be given precedence among the Greens. In an e-mail to the state executive, Kellner described Ulrich’s election as “a debacle”. He indirectly asked the state executive to look for formal errors in order to clear the way for the election of a new state list. Meanwhile, Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock declared in Berlin that they had “wanted it differently” in Saarland.
What followed in the following weeks was an unparalleled advocacy battle, in which the federal executive of the Greens did everything possible to prevent Ulrich from being elected. The contestation of the state list, with Ulrich at the top, who had fallen out of favor, was approved by the responsible party arbitration tribunal in Rhineland-Palatinate, although the applicants’ signatures were missing on the corresponding application. Compared to FOCUS Online Ulrich said that “the application for contestation should never have been negotiated for purely formal reasons”. But that was simply passed over.
In the end, the verdict fell in favor of the federal executive committee: The state list was declared invalid, among other things, due to violations of the women’s statute. From Ulrich’s point of view, a clear perversion of the law. The list place was opened with a large majority by the women’s assembly, only then did he stand for election.
One third of those eligible to vote is excluded In Berlin, however, there was apparently fear that the delegates at the newly scheduled state party congress on 17. July could come to the same conclusion. Two days before the election of the new state list, the Federal Arbitration Court decided to exclude the 49 party members from Ulrich’s local association Saarlouis from the vote. The decision was justified with the exclusion of two non-voting members from the list of delegates. The party public was therefore not guaranteed, it says in the argument.
Just a little later, the reaction of the Saarland state executive made clear how obscure the Federal Arbitration Court’s approach was. In short, he cancels the newly convened state party conference. The delegates concerned would be deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed rights, it said in a statement. In view of the situation, it appears to be the “lesser evil, either no country list at all or the existing country list from 20. 6 . to be submitted “. As a basis for its decision, the state board relied on a ruling by the Saarland arbitration court, according to which the new party congress had been incorrectly invited Political Crime At this point at the latest, the choice of the country list finally turned into a political crime thriller. The federal executive intervened personally by attempting to force the Saarland state executive to hold the delegates’ assembly anyway. The request was granted, but the party conference had already been canceled. On the night of Friday, one day before the election on 17. June, the federal executive asked in a further urgent motion on the state executive to lodge a complaint against the decision of the regional arbitration court. Otherwise he would be deposed and replaced by an emergency board. Saar-Grüner Hubert Ulrich in an interview – “Baerbock has massively intervened in the competencies of a democratically elected board”
Under massive pressure from the federal executive, the state executive finally gave in. On the day of the party congress, the federal executive reported again that the decision by the regional arbitration court had been changed and that the party congress, which had already been canceled, would take place. “The federal executive board – and with it Michael Kellner and Annalena Baerbock – has massively intervened in the competencies of a democratically elected state executive,” said Ulrich in the FOCUS online interview last week.
After weeks of legal wrangling, Jeanne Dillschneider was finally with 56 from only 86 Voices selected to the first place in the list. The temporary end of a farce? A crime thriller or a farce?
Country list is rejected because of “serious errors” For the time being, because the state election committee refused to allow the Greens in Saarland to participate in the federal election last Friday. Reason: the exclusion of the 35 delegates from the Saarlouis local association. The state election officer Monika Zöllner explained that her exclusion had blatantly violated the principle of democracy. It was a “serious election mistake”. The Saar Greens have meanwhile challenged the judgment. A final verdict is expected this Thursday. Should the state list remain invalid, the Greens in Saarland would not stand for election.
This time it is not only about Baerbock’s reputation, but about damage to the entire party For top candidate Annalena Baerbock, the supposed petitesse has long since become a real problem. Regardless of how the election committee’s verdict turned out on Thursday, the possible illegitimacy of the federal board’s actions alone represents an embarrassment, which at the same time raises doubts about Baerbock’s crisis management. The fact that a power man like Hubert Ulrich does not care about the etiquette of women’s status may justifiably cause frustration at the federal level, but such thin-skinned looks unprofessional. Especially when you consider which format real crises in the Federal Chancellery can take on: refugee crisis, financial crisis and finally the flood disaster – to name just a few examples.
At the same time, this time, unlike the résumé affair or the plagiarism debate, the damage to image affects not only Baerbock himself, but the Greens as a whole institution. The way in which the federal executive board deals with the democratic processes of its own party seems strange – especially with a party that otherwise claims to be morally always on the right side and proudly displays its grassroots democratic values.
And then there would be another, very pragmatic reason why a failure of the Greens in Saarland would hit the party seriously. In the Bundestag election 2017 the Greens on the Saar 35. 117 Second votes received (5 percent). Four years later there should be a few more. Provided that the party can be chosen at all.
A formality, actually. But only actually.