The former parliamentary group leader Sahra Wagenknecht has sharply criticized the outcome of the Left Party Congress in Erfurt. “After this party congress, there is little hope that the left can stop its decline,” Wagenknecht told the German Press Agency on Sunday.
The two chairmen elected by the party congress, Janine Wissler and Martin Schirdewan, were both responsible for the election defeats. “It is a mystery to me how a party that is currently at four percent wants to get back up with this list,” commented Wagenknecht. “The party congress has expressly decided to continue as it is, and it will probably continue in the next elections as in the last few years.” Many members have the feeling: “Never change a losing team”.
Wagenknecht left the consequences open. She only announced: “We will agree on how we react to it. One consideration is to first create an organized network on the basis of the “Call for a Popular Left” and to discuss the “what happens next” at a larger conference in autumn.”
On the other hand, Sören Pellmann, member of the Bundestag, is considering personal consequences. “In the coming days I will think about what this means for my further work, both in the parliamentary group and in my local political commitment,” said Pellmann of the German Press Agency. When asked if he was considering withdrawing from the parliamentary group, he reiterated: “I’ll be thinking about all the options in the next few days.”
Pellmann had applied for a position in the party’s dual leadership, but only received 31.7 percent of the delegate votes. The European politician Martin Schirdewan (61.3 percent) was elected, who will form a leadership duo with Janine Wissler in the future. Pellmann emphasized: “I didn’t get a majority with my offer to the party congress, unfortunately I didn’t even get a close result.” Because he is thinking about his future work, he is not running for another position on the party executive committee.
The 45-year-old defended his constituency in the federal elections in Leipzig in September 2021 – one of three direct mandates that secured the left’s entry into parliament in parliamentary group strength. The other two were won by Gesine Lötzsch and Gregor Gysi in Berlin.
Should Pellmann resign from the Bundestag, this would probably not have any direct consequences for the existence of the parliamentary group: the decisive factor is the number of direct mandates on election day, not in the further course of the legislature, according to parliamentary group circles.