German green party ballot on the coalition agreement

Overshadowed by fierce personnel squabbles, the Green Party in Germany has begun its ballot. The 125.000 party members can vote until 6. December about the coalition agreement with SPD and FDP as well as about the green cabinet row decide. All 125 can participate.000 Green Party members. The voting ends on Monday, 6. December. Voting is done digitally; alternatively, a vote by mail is also possible. At SPD and FDP party conventions vote.

For the Greens, in addition to the coalition agreement, the Green personnel tableau for the new German government , which includes five ministers and the post of Minister of State for Culture and Media, is also up for vote. A simple majority is required, there is no quorum.

The lineage runs to 6. December at 13.00 a.m. The result is to be announced on St. Nicholas Day. Whether the Greens will be in a celebratory mood by then remains to be seen. Because the occupation of her five ministerial posts has triggered a fierce wing dispute, the consequences of which are not yet foreseeable.

Green Party's start in government after 16 years in opposition is thus strained. There has not been such a situation since the two leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck took the helm in early 2018. The cat was out of the bag when the party leadership had to postpone the start of the ballot for a day on Thursday afternoon because there was still no agreement on the line-up of candidates.

The result of the dispute is now clear in black and white: ex-party leader Cem ozdemir is to become agriculture minister, and there is no place at the cabinet table for left-wing parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter. Leftists in the party bitter that, Hofreiter was considered set. ozdemir is eloquent, shrewd, had a brilliant election result and has mastered the light-footed game with the public. For the external image of the Greens, the first federal minister with Turkish roots should prove to be a pound of gold. But thanks to the controversy his lineup sparked, the Greens enter the new government with a mortgage.

The fact that Hofreiter and ozdemir cannot simply both become ministers is due to the rules for filling such posts. Corresponding sensitivities exist also in other parties, with the Greens they are perhaps a little more far-reaching. They stipulate that posts normally go at least half to women, plus both wings, left and realos, want their interests represented in a balanced way.

The two current party leaders, Baerbock and Habeck, are realists and were set from the start for the four to five ministerial posts the Greens hoped for. It was thus clear that ozdemir and Hofreiter would not both be able to make the cut – keyword: male majority. The sixth post, which should now go to the leftist Claudia Roth as Minister of State for Culture and the Media, was not counted in these internal calculations.

According to leftist readings, the party executive pulled ozdemir out of the hat as a nasty surprise. There is talk of a breach of promise, destroyed trust. The performance in the coalition negotiations also played a role, however, realists point out.

In recent years, and even more so during the election campaign, the Greens have posed as statist and harmonious. Party leader Habeck philosophizes whenever he is allowed to about the connection of ideological opposites, from which something new, something better should arise. Co-leader Baerbock undauntedly urges the country to "rise above itself". Now they're scuffling again, the Greens, and the day after the bang they seem hungover and a little surprised at themselves.

Who is responsible for the misery depends on who you talk to. The two party leaders have to ask themselves why they could not resolve the looming conflict sooner and more quietly. During the election campaign, the inconsistencies in Baerbock's curriculum vitae and her book, with its conspicuous number of textual similarities to other works, caused the party leadership to flounder. Now this. This raises questions about crisis resistance and the quality of strategic thinking.

The cabinet team itself is probably not the main problem here, because it actually takes into account many sensitivities. "We represent the diversity of our party and our society from. Different generations, people with a history of migration, with East German roots, but also families are represented by our lineup," praised Luise Amtsberg, the group's previous spokeswoman on refugee policy, who does not assign herself to any wing.

The question is rather what wounds the dispute will leave behind. Despite the displeasure, it is difficult to imagine a "no" vote on the coalition agreement and cabinet formation in the ballot. Greens won't relinquish grip on power over staff spat. It remains to be seen whether the current skirmish will prove to be an exception or the prelude to renewed infighting.

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