Berlin (AP) – Greens chairman Annalena Baerbock should lead her party as a candidate for chancellor in the federal election. The federal administration of the Greens nominated the 40-year-old for the top position, the party announced in Berlin.
The decision has yet to be confirmed at a party congress from June 11-13. Consent is considered certain. The federal elections will take place on September 26.
Months of speculation end with the decision. The party had left the clarification of the candidate question to its two party chairmen, Baerbock and Robert Habeck (51), who silently agreed.
After the announcement, Habeck drummed for his co-boss as his party’s candidate for chancellor. Baerbock is a “combative, focused, strong-willed woman” who knows exactly what she wants. In recent weeks, there have been well-known, sometimes difficult conversations between him and Baerbock about who should take the candidacy. “We both wanted to, but in the end there is only one.”
But he also wants to throw himself into the election campaign. Common ground made the Greens so successful. “In this situation, mutual success means taking a step back.”
After her appointment, Baerbock herself campaigned to leave for Germany. “I am deeply convinced that this country needs a fresh start,” she said. You want to provide a forward-looking policy. Referring to criticism that she has no experience with the government, Baerbock said, “Yes, I have never been chancellor, nor have I been a minister. I stand for innovation. Others face the status quo. “
Baerbock made it clear that the Greens’ goal was to take over the chancellery. “We would like to lead this government,” said the 40-year-old. “This year everything is possible and everything is possible. And we do our best for that. “
Current polls suggest that the Greens could become junior partners in a coalition with the Union. But even for a Green-led traffic light coalition with the SPD and the FDP or a green-red-red coalition with the SPD and the left, it could be enough in the election. Baerbock insisted that it was now pointless to speculate about it. “We don’t define ourselves in terms of others,” she said. “You don’t design with that. You only run after others with it. “
Given the high poll numbers since 2018, the Greens decided to become chancellor for the first time. At more than 20 percent, they are currently the second strongest force behind the CDU / CSU and ahead of the SPD. In the twentieth general election since 1949, Baerbock is only the second woman after Angela Merkel to run for the highest office in the government. None of the previous chancellor candidates were younger.
Merkel congratulated the Green politician on the nomination. “I can congratulate the Chancellor from here,” said Deputy Government Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer in Berlin.
Baerbock will face two men in the elections: the SPD has appointed Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the union has yet to decide between CDU and CSU presidents Armin Laschet and Markus Söder.
SPD bosses Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans assured the Greens that they would have “fair competition” after their decision for Baerbock. “The SPD congratulates the Greens on the fact that – as before the SPD – they have succeeded in reaching an amicable decision on this personnel issue,” both told the Funke media group newspapers. “We Social Democrats face fair competition to lead a progressive government alliance.”
Unlike the CDU and CSU, the Greens did not have a dispute or major public discussions over the choice of candidates. That is why major approval is expected at the party congress in June.
Baerbock grew up in a village near Hanover and studied political science and international law in Germany and London. The mother of two daughters soon made a career for the Greens: board member of the European Greens in 2009 and president of the state in Brandenburg; Accession to the Bundestag in 2013; 2018 Federal President of the Greens together with Habeck.
So far, only CDU / CSU and SPD have typically nominated candidates for chancellor, with one exception: in 2002, the FDP appointed Guido Westerwelle, but at 7.4 percent, it was only the fourth strongest force in the Bundestag behind the SPD, CDU / CSU and the Greens.
Federal Director Michael Kellner has also set the election target for the Greens to conquer the Chancellery. “We want to lead the country into the future. That’s why we’re fighting for the historically best green result of all time and for the leadership of the next federal government. “The Greens had their best result so far in a federal election in 2009 with 10.7 percent. In the 2017 election, they came in at only 8.9 percent.