Германия: Сара хочет власти


Bernd Elmenthaler / Imago

In the Bundestag - turmoil. The parliamentary faction of the Left party, which is persistently called post-communist, announced its self-dissolution. Formally, this will happen on December 6.

With the resignation of Sahra Wagenknecht and nine other MPs from the Left Party, the necessary minimum of 37 parliamentary seats to form a parliamentary faction was lost. Two new groups are now expected to emerge, comprising the remaining 28 Leftists on the one hand and Wagenknecht with her supporters on the other. This is a serious blow to the party purse. The fact is that political associations that have their own faction in the Bundestag receive increased funding from the state budget. But for parliamentary groups with a smaller set of rights, these subsidies are much lower.

Let me remind you that the Left party was created in June 2007 as a result of the merger of the West German public organization Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative with the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). Both had started cooperating two years earlier as part of a faction of the «left» under Gregor Gysi. In the last election (2021), the Left party won 4.9% of the vote (mostly in the eastern states) and 39 mandates. This is 30 fewer than four years earlier.

At the end of October, Wagenknecht announced that she would form her own party in early 2024. It is believed that she will target a protest electorate from both the left and the far right. In plain language, this association intends to take votes away from the left wing of the SPD and the moderate wing of the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

In the initial phase, Sahra has led the Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht - Für Vernunft und Gerechtigkeit (BSW), which will form the basis of the new hybrid party.

The collection of donations and the preparation of structures on the ground have already begun. The political Frau intends to mix the social policy of the left with the migration policy of the right. BSW is particularly in favor of peace and cooperation with Russia and against supplying arms to Ukraine. What a cocktail! Wagenknecht believes that up to 20% of Germans are ready to vote for the new political force (according to social polls - 14%). The emergence of a party so strongly focused on the figure of the leader (read, chief) is a new phenomenon in the political life of Germany.

«We need a return to common sense politics. And this applies first and foremost to economic policy. Germany is a commodity-poor but export-rich country. And much of our prosperity depends on high industrial added value. But with economic sanctions we have cut ourselves off from cheap energy without sane alternatives», said Sahra.

«The Left faction has long been marginalized. And the ruling Social Democrats and Greens have lost their former appeal to workers, employees and the poor - those segments of the population who demand social protection for themselves», says German political scientist Alexander Rahr.

Paradoxically, but this category in Germany now votes for the AfD. The left-wing party, in his opinion, mistakenly tried to borrow from other representatives of the left spectrum (those closer to the center) transatlanticism, ecology, gender policy. But all of these turned out to be secondary to her electorate, diluting the original profile.

Rahr believes that Wagenknecht will try to build her organization on other ideas, will focus «on issues of social justice, limiting the power of financial sharks, modernizing infrastructure». She will «try to revive the peace movement, which is very much in demand in German society».

Sahra and her party have a chance, as they believe in the FRG. In popularity, as the latest opinion polls show, she is second only to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (CDU) and the leader of the CSU, Bavarian Minister Presidebt Markus Söder.

Wagenknecht is in a hurry. She wants her party to be in combat readiness by the middle of next year: in June - elections to the European Parliament, and in the fall - in the eastern states: Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia, where the position of the AfD is particularly strong. And then the battle for the Bundestag in 2025 is just a stone's throw away.

The 54-year-old Sahra is famous not only for her charisma, but also...for her perfect hair. She was born in Jena, GDR. Her mother is German and her father is Iranian. He studied in West Berlin and had the opportunity to meet his beloved by getting a one-day visa. At the age of four she learned to read on her own (!). She grew up a withdrawn child, she had practically no friends. She was almost expelled from school «for her indifferent attitude to the group». Only after the reunification of Germany, she was liberated, having the opportunity to study in German and foreign universities.

She had a turbulent political career: the SED (the ruling party of the GDR), the PDS (after unification), then the Left Party. And everywhere she was quickly promoted to a leading position.

Since 2011, her life partner is a well-known German politician, former chairman of the SPD Oscar Lafontaine, who is 26 years older. It is he who is considered the ideological inspiration of the Wagenknecht party. However, because of his venerable age (he is 80), he does not participate in public life.

In fact, the decisive actions of the bright and ambitious Sahra - is evidence of a sharp loss of positions of the ruling in the FRG «traffic light» coalition and Chancellor Scholz. The alliance is losing power. And there are forces in Germany ready to pick it up. These are the Wagenknecht Party and the AfD, which is gaining points. Now it is hardly possible to predict what the German cabinet will be like in two years, after the elections to the Bundestag in 2025. Sahra, we must assume, dreams of getting her rightful place in it. And she has reason to.