Parliament of the polarizers – how is the new Bundestag doing? | free press

Friedrich Merz has long had a reputation for being a brilliant speaker. In recent years, however, he has scratched the surface of this nimbus the most: the CDU politician twice applied for the presidency of his party, in neither round did Merz manage to get the majority of the deputies behind him with a sparkling speech. . ..

Friedrich Merz has long had a reputation for being a brilliant speaker. In recent years, however, he has scratched the surface of this nimbus the most: the CDU politician twice applied for the presidency of his party, in neither round did Merz manage to get the majority of the deputies behind him with a sparkling speech. .

But now Merz returns to the Bundestag as a member of the Bundestag through his constituency in the Sauerland. The conservative sat here from 1994 to 2009 and at times brought the discussion to a head as leader of the then opposition CDU/CSU. As a political returnee, he will certainly be one of those who will liven up the debates in the next parliament.

It is true that the Bundestag has had no shortage of heated discussions in the current parliamentary term. However, many of them involved appearances by AfD speakers, who sought to attract attention with their strategy of deliberate provocation and rule-breaking. This sometimes led to striking rebuttals – including much praised, but also criticized performances such as that of outgoing SPD man Martin Schulz or green Stuttgart MP Cem Özdemir.

Some newcomers could now ensure that the content of the debates becomes sharper. 20-year-old Jakob Blasel may be the first representative of the extra-parliamentary Fridays for Future movement to enter parliament. Blasel helped organize the major strikes for the climate and led the way with Greta Thunberg. In Schleswig-Holstein, the Greens voted him an unsafe, but not hopeless, eighth place on the list.

The young man, who describes himself on Twitter as “1.5 degrees ultra”, will go in front of the lectern in his own interest with the maximum demands with which his movement drives the parties ahead. How much speaking and profiling time the newcomer then gets within his group is a completely different question. Should the Greens join a government, possible compromises would certainly find a loud critic here.

Merz will ensure that his party’s conservative profile is expanded. But it is possible that the parliamentary group of the Union has another speaker who would cause problems. In southern Thuringia, the former president of the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, who recently attracted attention by crossing borders and being close to the new right-wing mindset, is standing for a direct mandate. Maassen’s accession is not certain – but that he could laser holes in the AfD’s firewall with sharp speeches on the right, the Union must take that into account and ask itself demarcation questions.

For the AfD, there are at least some radical employees in promising list positions. This includes, for example, the former Baden-Württemberg member of the state parliament Christina Baum, who belonged to the wing’s officially dissolved party current and is a supporter of far-right leader Björn Höcke.

In Saxony, where the AfD has been classified as a suspected far-right case by the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution, the party voted Andreas Harlaß to a promising fifth place on the list. Harlaß had previously run unsuccessfully for the Saxon state parliament. He belongs to the National Socialist tendency of the party, he describes immigration on Facebook as a “murder import”, and posted a photo of a July candlestick at Christmas – such candlesticks were part of SS folklore under National Socialism .

Van Höcke’s regional association of Thuringia could revoke his confidant Torben Braga, who is believed to be one of the tacticians who also invented the coup surrounding the election of FDP candidate Thomas Kemmerich as prime minister with AfD votes.

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