The publicist Ferda Ataman is the new head of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency. A majority in the Bundestag voted in favor of the proposal by Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) on Thursday. Ataman is the first anti-discrimination commissioner elected by Parliament. There had previously been a heated debate about the personnel.

Ataman received 376 yes votes. This gave her the required absolute majority. 278 MPs voted against, 14 abstained.

The head of the anti-discrimination agency has so far been appointed by the family minister. The top position had been vacant since 2018 due to a legal dispute with an applicant and the position was provisionally managed by lawyer Bernhard Franke. The election of the representative by the Bundestag should also serve to fill the position again.

Ataman has previously worked in the family and integration ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia, among other places, and set up the integration media service, a scientific Internet platform for journalists. Among other things, the 42-year-old had sparked discussions when she defended the term “potato” for Germans without a migration background in a column.

She also deleted previous tweets on Twitter that her critics had classified as polemical. Union and AfD rejected her as a candidate for the management of the anti-discrimination agency. The election also raised concerns for the FDP.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency advises people affected by discrimination and regularly submits reports on the type and extent of the discrimination. The basis is the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG).