The last committee meetings in the city and district were held just before the Christmas holidays. There is understandable that the normal Mandatsträger*Innen use the time "between the years" to a kommunalpolitische relaxation break. At least at the county level, this ends no later than when the last New Year's firecrackers have faded away. Because on 9. January 2023 county council faces epochal decision: electing a new county commissioner or commissioners. Yet the situation there, which is open to public scrutiny, is even more complex than it was in 2018 for the aldermanic and 2021 mayoral elections in the city. At that time, the list of candidates was manageable. And at least it was clear in advance which party or faction would propose which candidate.
This is regarding the 9.1.2023 very different. First, because of the much larger number of applicants*. Because, as this site has already said on 17.11.2022 formulated: "ten are pushing to the side of Bettina Dickes". The county commissioner, however, has long been adamant about who she wants to see there, Andrea Silvestri, who is currently already a volunteer county commissioner. And would like to change only all too gladly into the main office. With her it is certain: she is the candidate of the CDU group of the district council. That and being close to Bettina Dickes is also her biggest mortgage. Because their election would lock in a CDU county leader. It is true that in less than four years the re-election of the district administrator is pending.
But unlike former mayor Dr. Heike Kaster-Meuer (SPD) has not made any political or personal enemies of Bettina Dickes, either by her office or her appearance. And therefore does not have to fear a surprise candidate. A female candidate is not even in sight, since – in contrast to the CDU – district politics is predominantly a matter for men in the other parties and voter groups. Her re-election is therefore likely as things stand today. But it is precisely this entrenched position of county councilwoman that could become a problem for Silvestri because of her known closeness to Bettina Dickes. Because a full-time alderwoman Andrea Silvestri could be understood by the gentlemen in several district council factions not only as a medium-term cementing of women's power at the head of the district, but also as a personal strengthening for Dickes.
Of course, regional considerations also play a role. The SPD with its candidate Oliver Kohl from Hennweiler (not to be confused with the Winzenheim local leader and district council member Mirko Helmut Kohl from the CDU) is counting on them. The hope of the social democrats: the westerners, who feel chronically disadvantaged compared to the eastern part of the district with the large district town of Bad Kreuznach, are happy to look past the red party card for this reason alone. After all, Kohl can count on being proposed by his comrades. This note may sound trite to outsiders. On the 9.1.In 2023, it is of critical importance.
Because on this day, only votes cast for proposed candidates count. If you haven't cleared that hurdle, you can't get elected. If the name of someone not nominated were written on the ballot by one of the 50 eligible county council members, it would be invalid. This aspect is important for Hans-Dirk Nies (SPD), for example. The still-county councillor connects concrete personal financial interests with his application. Whereas every euro that Nies makes good is to be financed from taxpayers' money. Who Nies, which thus not with the desire of the re-election, but only the personal income because of again to run proposes, in the circle parliament, may look forward with the next local elections to appropriate references "to look forward".
And the district council member who nominates Markus Schlosser (CDU) as a candidate must also expect reactions. Because although member with the Christian Democrats the Stadtbeigeordnete enters against the official CDU proposal Andrea Silvestri yes. So the locksmith proposed person isn't just making friends, either. Downright hopeless, therefore, are the other five candidacies, which are independent of district party politics. For whoever fails these days to convince a county caucus or county council member to vote for the appropriate person on the 9.1.2023 also to propose, may for itself determine: except expenses nothing been. Quite independent of the qualification. The relevant rules are laid down in the Landkreisordnung (LKO).
This is the responsibility of the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament. So, anyone who notices that the provision laid down in the LKO is in stark contrast to the generally desired best selection in the interests of the inhabitants*, but instead supports solely party-political exercise of power, should contact the member of the state parliament of his or her confidence. And propose an amendment. There is eager speculation as to which ballot will make the final decision. The calculation methods for elections by the district council are defined in § 33 LKO. According to this, "whoever receives more than half of the votes" is elected. The administrative rule on this issue clarifies that "the number of county council members present shall be decisive for this purpose". If all 50 were on the 9.1.2023 there, the quorum would be 26.
Further, the LKO stipulates that "if no one receives this majority of votes in the first ballot, the election shall be repeated (second ballot). If no one receives more than half of the votes, a runoff election (third ballot) shall be held between the two persons who received the highest number of votes. In the event of a tie, the lot decides who comes into the runoff vote. If the runoff also results in an equal number of votes, the lot decides who is elected". The decision by lot is made by the (non-voting) chairwoman, District Administrator Bettina Dickes. Because a very high number of votes would have to be achieved in the first and second ballots, the majority of observers assume that a decision will only be made in the third ballot.
Or by lot. The latter would be a first in the history of the district council. The fact that in the first and second ballot all proposed candidates who wish to do so can run, gives especially those groups such as the Greens, which do not have their own personnel proposal and have not yet publicly committed to a candidate, the opportunity for tactical voting (for example, by casting invalid votes or abstentions), in order to keep the tension high for the third ballot. The county council meeting on Monday, 9.1.2023 at 14:30 o'clock is public and takes place in the meeting room (1. OG) of the Bad Kreuznach district administration (Salinenstrasse 47, 55543 Bad Kreuznach, Germany) will take place.