Berlin (dpa) – Ten months before the election of the House of Representatives, the Berlin SPD wants to come out of the polls with new double leadership.
Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (42) as the new hope and group leader Raed Saleh (43) should lead the party that currently rules the capital together with the left and the Greens to new strength. “The Red City Hall must remain red”, both announced at a party conference that was largely held online. Your goal is to make the SPD a popular party again.
After the polls on Friday evening, the SPD announced the election results on Saturday morning: Giffey received 89.4 percent of the valid votes. Saleh delivered a mixed result with 68.7 percent.
Giffey then announced that she wants to run as the SPD’s best candidate in the 2021 parliamentary elections. “I also want to tell you that if you want it, I’m ready to be your best candidate next year,” she said against the address of the delegates. You can feel the election results at the party congress «support, solidarity and tailwind». When Giffey is mentioned, the top candidate is still open.
Former party leader Michael Müller (55), who is also the reigning mayor and was in office at twelve and a half years as long as there was no chairman for him, no longer ran. Next year he will run for the Bundestag. The Berlin SPD leadership had already reached agreement on the change at the top of the party at the beginning of this year.
The background to this is the SPD’s poor poll numbers of 15 to 20 percent recently. It has not been the strongest party in the capital for a long time and could lose the position of government leader in the Red Town Hall to the Greens or the CDU. Due to the corona pandemic, the SPD has had to postpone the election of its summit from May to October 31 and then to November.
Giffey, who was mayor of Berlin’s multicultural Neukölln neighborhood until her move to the federal cabinet in 2018, is considered a bearer of hope and should embody a fresh start. In her new role she wanted to “tackle”, she promised. “We are opening a new chapter in the history of the Berlin SPD.” For the first time the party will be led by a double leadership, and for the first time a woman will take over the leadership of the state party.
However, the politician charged the affair in her thesis with possible plagiarism. 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 its approach, the FU recently announced a new test, which should be completed by the end of February. Giffey’s complaint was dropped. The minister recently announced under pressure that she would stop her PhD.
On Saturday she made it clear to journalists that even a possible withdrawal by the FU will not change her top candidate. “I said to the comrades, you can count on me no matter what,” Giffey said. “I’m here for you, we’re here for you.” The SPD wants to work out its election program at the end of January and approve it in the spring.
One of the concerns will be the issue of security, which includes both social and internal security, she announced. For example, tough action against clan crime is necessary. “We have twelve major clans in town, eight of which are in Neukölln, not only there, but also. We have to be clear about this, ”said Giffey. “Good politics starts with expressing what is. We have organized clan crime in the city, it makes life difficult for people. “That cannot be accepted.
Other subjects of the SPD are housing, education, a citizen-oriented administration and a functioning economy. The expansion of local public transport (ÖPNV) – not least the metro – is also important. At that time, there was a lot of disagreement recently between the SPD and coalition partner Greens. According to the accusation of the SPD, it relied too heavily on bicycle paths and a symbolic policy against motorists.
Co-chair Saleh stressed that the SPD had to become attractive again to voters who had turned away from it in the past. He cited workers as well as police officers, social workers and people with foreign roots as examples. “We also want to bring back the pubs for the social democracy.”
Because of the corona pandemic, the delegates of the party congress were at home on their computers, the party leadership gathered in a hotel. For ballots, the delegates went to the SPD district offices several times to cast their ballots.