Germany: Scholz is predicted kaput


Markus Schreiber / Associated Press

In his time, Franz-Josef Strauss, the founder of the Bavarian conservative association, self-assuredly declared: «In Germany, there should be no other democratically elected party more right-wing than the CSU». And, as the recent (October 8) elections to the state parliament showed, he miscalculated.

Two promising political forces — the hand-wringing, extreme right-wing Free Voters and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AdG) — mercilessly bit off 31.3 percent of the vote from the conservative field. This is despite the fact that the Christian Social Union, which has had an absolute majority in the state for many decades, received just 36.4%.

In Hesse, where Landtag elections were also held, the AdG received 18.4% of the vote, coming in a solid second place. The CDU received 34.6%.

All parties of the «traffic light» (Social Democrats, Greens, Liberals) ruling coalition in these states failed miserably. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s SPD has 8.4% in Bavaria and 15.1% in Hesse. Oh, my gosh!

That is, there is a powerful «right-wing march» of those who are more right-wing than the CDU/CSU in Germany.

And for the parties that now rule in Berlin, this is a failure. Moreover, two years before the next elections to the Bundestag, which promise an end to the liberal rule of the Social Democrats and their partners. In Bavaria, the FDP failed to break the five-percent threshold and dropped out of parliament. And the Greens, with 14.7 percent (minus 3.5 percent), came in last place. Hello to the furious Annalena Baerbok!

What are the prospects for the offensive of the extreme right, so unwelcome to the German political establishment? Elections to the European Parliament are coming up next June and in the fall in the three eastern states of Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia, where the AdG is particularly strong. If the Alternative has come second in western Bavaria and Hesse, it may well take the lead in its own fiefdom. This would completely change the political picture in the FRG.

Incidentally, the regional (purely Bavarian) Free Voters party, which was already in government with the CSU, has felt the excitement and decided to take a swing at Berlin. In any case, it has already been registered at the federal level and is rushing into battle.

It is clear that the main German political players — SPD and CDU/CSU — should already take some decisive steps to prevent undesirable forces from gaining power. One can’t help but think of the notorious «democratic pact» in France against Marine Le Pen. Other parties of all sorts have agreed that in case the extreme right-wing National Rally succeeds in the elections and threatens to bring the political lady to power in the country, they will unanimously stop quarreling and put up a collective «democratic» barrier. The slogan: «Do not let in!»

«As of today, it is hard to imagine that in two years’ time Olaf Scholz will still be in office as chancellor. The Christian Democrats can look forward to future elections with confident optimism. <…> The outcome will largely depend on the state of the economy. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the AdG will continue to gain weight. Its success is largely due to its tough attitude to the main topic of concern to German voters — mass migration from Africa and the Middle East, which the authorities have failed to slow down», said Alexander Rahr, a well-known German political scientist.

According to the weekly Bild am Sonntag, rumors are circulating in Berlin that Scholz may break the coalition with the Greens and the FDP in order to retain power and avoid re-election (early). And to conclude a new alliance with the CDU within the framework of the so-called «grand coalition». The mechanism of a possible «putsch» looks like this: the chancellor asks the federal president to dissolve the government and gets the permission to form a new cabinet. If the SPD and the CDU/CSU bloc agree, this alliance could well win the support of the Bundestag. The parliament now has 736 seats, of which the Social Democrats and Conservatives have 404.

It is noteworthy that the CDU leader Friedrich Merz is not even against ( unofficially) this arrangement. His party is under serious pressure from the AdG, and his personal popularity is declining. As a result, his chances of gaining the support of his fellow party members in nominating him for the post of chancellor in 2025 are disappearing. And if he gets along with the Social Democrats, he will become vice-chancellor and get some kind of trump ministerial portfolio. This, in turn, will give him a solid administrative resource and an opportunity to be in the limelight.

If Merz is still darkening, the leader of the sister CSU, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder, openly proposed a coup to the chancellor on October 20.

«A new government is needed. What needs to be done now is to remove the FDP and the Greens and form a new government of national prudence. We are ready for that», he said.

As the informed Bild newspaper pointed out, Söder did not coordinate his initiative with CDU chairman Merz. This is understandable, because he has his own ambitions to move to some high office at the federal level. For example, to become the Conservatives’ candidate for the chancellor’s seat. Why not?

Scholz, it seems, can’t drag it out, because the rating of his SPD is steadily declining: now, according to opinion polls, only 14% of Bundesbürgers are ready to vote for it. It is contraindicated to run for election with such «baggage».