Berlin SPD chooses new party leadership | Free press

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey has been officially becoming the new hope for the capital’s SPD for months. Now the corona related hanging part is over. But unanswered questions remain.

Berlin (dpa) – After the postponement of two party conferences due to the corona pandemic, the Berlin SPD now wants to elect Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (42) and Group Chairman Raed Saleh (43) to the new double leadership.

A new party leadership is elected at a party conference on Friday and Saturday. Former party leader Michael Müller (55), who is also the reigning mayor of a red-red-green alliance, will no longer come to power. Next year he will run for the Bundestag.

It is likely that Giffey will also be the SPD’s top candidate for the 2021 parliamentary elections. But that is not the subject of the party congress. The Berlin SPD leadership had already reached agreement on the change at the top at the beginning of this year. In surveys, the SPD is no longer the strongest party in the capital.

Given the corona pandemic, the meeting with 279 delegates is largely online. Before the election – in addition to the party leadership, the entire board of directors will be redefined – the delegates then go to the SPD district offices to throw their ballots into a ballot box. The online party conference is suspended. The results of the election of the party leadership on Saturday morning will be counted and announced.

Giffey – so hope – should lead the SPD in the capital as some kind of radiant woman. As a district mayor in the multicultural Neukölln district, she also made a name for herself nationally with pragmatic politics and a relatively close relationship with people. In March 2018 she was promoted to Federal Minister for the Family.

However, Giffey has a heavy burden: the affair of possible plagiarism in her dissertation. The Free University of Berlin (FU) issued a reprimand in the autumn of 2019 for shortcomings in the work, but did not withdraw her doctorate. After widespread criticism of this approach, the FU recently announced a new exam, which should be completed by the end of the college period of the winter semester – ie the end of February. Giffey’s complaint was dropped.

Under pressure from new hardships at work, Giffey recently announced that she would be giving up her PhD. “Who I am and what I can do does not depend on this title,” she explained. She wants to remain Federal Minister for Family – and also take on more responsibility in the Berlin SPD. During the first review of her dissertation last year, she announced that she would step down if her title were withdrawn.

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