Mario Vogt, deputy chairman of the CDU in Thuringia, spoke a big word on Friday evening at just before ten in the hall of the state parliament in Erfurt. A “historical compromise” had just been agreed in the F125 meeting room. The 43-year-old political scientist should know which historical echo he triggers. The “historical compromise” used to describe the parliamentary cooperation between Italian communists and Christian Democrats in the early 1970s. The “compromesso storico” is now at home in the middle of Germany.
For seven hours, leftists, social democrats, Greens and representatives of the Union had discussed in the Erfurt state parliament how the Thuringian state crisis could be resolved. The country has had a prime minister since February 5, who resigned shortly thereafter and can hardly be seen publicly.
Government affairs are run by civil servants, not ministers. Thomas Kemmerich, the FDP man hoisted into the state chancellery with the votes of the AfD, has never appointed a cabinet.
At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, a jovial Bodo Ramelow then declared that the crisis was over. He would stand for election on March 4; New elections would follow in April. However, in April of the coming year. The late election date is the red-red-green gift to the CDU, which is currently bottomless in the polls. The representatives of the Union had protested massively against a new election this year and would have preferred not to do so again in 2021. But that was not possible, especially the Social Democrats pushed for a quick appointment.
April 2021 is therefore a compromise, perhaps not quite as historic as the cooperation between the left and the Union, which is now beginning in Thuringia. According to information from WELT AM SONNTAG, it should also be written down, but for the drawer, not for the public. In fact, the CDU Thuringia will then tolerate the red-red-green minority government that has returned to office until the end of the year. This vocabulary was of course carefully avoided.
However, synonyms for “tolerance” are now abundant in Erfurt: In the coming months, Vogt says, the CDU will seek “binding cooperation” in parliament, he spoke of “project-oriented cooperation”, of “constructive opposition” and a “ stability mechanism “.
Ramelow also called this “stability mechanism”. But before this mechanism begins to rattle in the Erfurt state parliament, Ramelow must of course be elected. In the first ballot on March 4, otherwise he would not run. That means: At least four CDU members of the parliamentary group must then vote for the left Bodo Ramelow. That would be a clear violation of the decisions of the CDU, which prohibits cooperation with the Left or the AfD.
Another compromise was possible earlier this week
Neither Ramelow nor Vogt spoke highly of this small but essential detail. The elephant in the room was politely described: “I am aware of the party’s decision. But we are called on to ensure stable conditions in Thuringia. ”And according to the situation, stability is no longer possible without Ramelow.
Another compromise would have been possible earlier this week; historically also: Ramelow had proposed his predecessor Christine Lieberknecht (CDU) as interim prime minister. But it was only supposed to stay in office for 70 days with a hull cabinet and organize new elections. The CDU was far too quick – it struggles not only with a historical low in the polls, but also with its headlessness.
The previous Zampano of the Thuringian CDU, Mike Mohring, is currently withdrawing from parliamentary and party leadership. The party has to rearrange itself, it suffers from consumption and melancholy. Lieberknecht, who has been involved in state politics for 30 years, suspected how unpredictable her party would be in this situation – and took it out of the game on Wednesday. This left little room for the Union. The longer the CDU wanted to delay new elections, the more it had to accommodate the other negotiating side.
The Union has now done that. Not only the direct support of Bodo Ramelow is priced in with the Erfurt deal, but also the mutual promise to undermine the power of the AfD in the state parliament in the future. Applications and decisions are to be discussed at least this year between the red-red-green minority government and the Union and put to the vote ready for compromise. The budget for 2021 should also be drawn up by mutual agreement.
It is unlikely that the “historical compromise” will be welcomed by the Berlin CDU leadership, nobody in Erfurt expects congratulations from Berlin. On the other hand, nobody is really at home in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus at the moment. The deal did not come as a surprise in the end, had built up all week long, with a persistent silence from the capital.
“We now have a road map,” said Bodo Ramelow after the meeting. He was conductor and train driver at the same time.