Karlsruhe (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had her statements about the Thuringia elections justified by her head of the Chancellery during a trip to South Africa in February 2020 before the Federal Constitutional Court.
CDU politician Helge Braun said in Karlsruhe that both the traveling journalists and the coalition partners wanted a position. It was also about preserving the international reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Elected Prime Minister with AfD votes
On February 5, 2020, FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich was elected Prime Minister in Erfurt’s state parliament with votes from the AfD, CDU and FDP. Merkel had described the events as “unforgivable” during a press conference at a state reception and the result had to be “reversed”.
The complaining AfD regarded Merkel’s statements as a direct attack. “We believe that such an attack, especially during an official state visit under the Chancellor’s logo, is unconstitutional and that Ms Merkel has violated her duty of neutrality,” Vice-President Stephan Brandner said before negotiations began. Party leader Jörg Meuthen said: “She tried to delegitimize a state election in the exercise of her position as Chancellor.”
The left-wing politician Bodo Ramelow actually wanted to be re-elected as head of government in the parliament of the federal state of Erfurt. He did not get enough votes in the first two votes. In the third ballot, FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich, quite surprisingly, defeated him by one vote – co-elected by the CDU and AfD. It was the first time the AfD helped a prime minister to office. Three days later, Kemmerich resigned under pressure and continued to conduct official business without a government until March.
‘It was a bad day for democracy’
Merkel, who was currently traveling, had spoken the day after the election and had prefaced her press conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa with an “introductory remark” “for domestic political reasons”. In any case, the CDU should not participate in this government, she said. “It was a bad day for democracy.” A transcript of the press conference was now available at bundeskanzlerin.de and bundesregierung.de.
Braun said press conferences are basically literally and fully documented and nothing will be removed. Journalists would rely on that.
AfD rejection request rejected
The AfD has already successfully sued Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) in Karlsruhe for having an interview with AfD-critical passages on his ministry page. And Johanna Wanka (CDU) was reprimanded during her time as education minister for calling for the “red card” for the AfD in a ministry announcement. According to these statements, politicians are allowed to criticize the AfD publicly. However, they must adhere to the principle of state neutrality when expressing themselves in their role as members of the government.
At the start of the negotiations, the constitutional judges of the Second Senate rejected an AfD rejection request that had been submitted just under two weeks ago. The AfD had justified this with a visit by a delegation from the court to the Federal Chancellery with a joint dinner on June 30.
Vice President Doris König said that if these regular meetings question impartiality, an exchange of the highest constitutional bodies would be impossible. “In addition, it would express a distrust of the members of the Federal Constitutional Court, which is contrary to the constitutional and simply presumed law image of the constitutional judge,” the court said. Experience shows that the verdict will be handed down in a few months. (Az. 2 BvE 4/20 etc.)