After left-wing leader Katja Kipping, her co-chairman Bernd Riexinger has also announced that he will no longer go to the top position in October. The politician announced this on Saturday.
After left-wing leader Katja Kipping, her co-chairman Bernd Riexinger has also announced that he will no longer go to the top position in October. The 64-year-old announced this on Saturday in a written statement to the federal executive committee and other party organs, which the German news agency received. The dual leadership was chosen in battle over eight years ago. With the withdrawal of the two chairmen, the left now faces a staff change at the party congress in Erfurt from October 30 to November 1.
Kipping had already announced in a letter to the party committees on Friday that he was no longer in the lead. It was “time to start something new,” the 42-year-old wrote. Riexinger now wrote in his five-page statement: “I was very happy to do the work as party chairman and I am proud that we have built and further developed Die Linke into an all-German party that is now a stable force in the German party system. ” He will “continue to work for strong left with enthusiasm and optimism”.
Withdrawal comes as no surprise
The withdrawal of the two comes as no surprise. According to the statutes, a party position may not be held by the same member for more than eight years. Kipping also justified her withdrawal with respect for the party statutes: “Democracy within the party means that every office is a temporary office – and that’s a good thing.” Eight years at the top of the party would have demanded a lot from her. “We are known as a lively party that sometimes likes to fight each other.”
The trade unionist Riexinger from Baden-Württemberg is assigned to the left wing of the party. He has also been a Member of the Bundestag since 2017, as has Kipping, who has been a Member of Parliament since 2005.
The left actually wanted to choose a new party leader in June. Due to the corona pandemic, the party conference was postponed to the weekend of October 30 to November 1. It is still unclear who could succeed Kipping and Riexinger. The Hessian group chairman Janine Wissler and the Thuringian group chairman Susanne Hennig-Wellsow are discussed as possible candidates for the party chairmanship.
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow thanked Kipping for her work over the years. “You took responsibility in difficult times and I have always felt that you supported me well,” he wrote on the short message service Twitter. Her old parliamentary colleague Stefan Liebich tweeted: “We fight together for new left majorities. Whatever point.”
SPD Deputy Kevin Kühnert also wrote on Twitter: “Great respect for many struggles over the years, for your empathy and persistence in helping social movements to be heard and seen. I’m glad you can still be expected of you. “