Left-wing base to decide: kipping open to primary election proposal

Members of the Left Party are proposing that the new party leadership be elected by primary vote. This should bring new momentum. They are currently collecting signatures.

A grassroots initiative wants all Left Party members to elect the next party leadership by primary election Photo: ap

The Greens have done it, the SPD is currently trying it, now there is also a push from the Left Party: The base should vote on the top personnel. The chairwoman of the Left Party, Katja Kipping, said on Monday that she found the idea interesting. Now "interesting" is also a fondly used euphemism for "completely off the mark," for example when it comes to food. "I am open there," Kipping followed up.

On Friday, 14 members of the Left Party had started a signature campaign. They are collecting supporters via the website "WirsinddieLinke. With their signatures, the members should not only abolish the delegate principle for the election of the party leadership, but also propose a concrete dual leadership to be elected. According to the party statutes, they need 5 percent of the party members, or about 3,200 votes, to bring about a corresponding referendum.

The first thing to be done in the Left Party this year is to elect the leadership of the parliamentary group. The party executive board will not be regularly elected until next year, until then the mandate of Katja Kipping and Bernd Riexinger will apply.

The initiators justify their initiative at the present time by saying that they want to inject new momentum into the party, which has seemed paralyzed for some time.

For which milieus do they want to be attractive

One of two people representing the campaign to the outside world is Dana Moribe from the Dusseldorf district association. Moribe told Neues Deutschland that after the "past quarrels at the top, it is hoped that the party will calm down in the end so that it can tackle the really important things politically. Moribe, who is also a member of the North Rhine-Westphalia state executive committee, outlined what these are in a guest article for Freitag: "Instead of running after the Greens, the Left must return to economic and social issues.

The question of which priorities and target groups the Left should focus on is hotly disputed within the party. The unresolved dispute is one reason for the divergence between the incumbent party leaders Kipping and Riexinger, who among other things want to strengthen the party’s climate policy profile, and the outgoing parliamentary group leader Sahra Wagenknecht.

The Aufstehen movement, co-founded by Wagenknecht, was supposed to focus precisely on those social and economic issues. Instead, the leadership staff became entangled in power games, Wagenknecht withdrew from the leadership, and Aufstehen largely disappeared from the public eye.

It is undisputed that the left also needs new momentum: It did historically poorly in the European elections, and the polls for the upcoming state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg are not exhilarating at around 15 percent. In Saxony, the grassroots even elected top candidate Rico Gebhardt in a primary election under the motto "Basis ist Boss. So far, that has been of little help.

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