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“Outlawing of positions and the public pillory must have no room”


The former parliamentary group leader Sahra Wagenknecht sees the left in an existential crisis before the party conference in June. “The dominant course in recent years has meant that voters have increasingly run away from us,” criticized Wagenknecht in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG. “Some officials have completely lost sight of regular workers, and we have opposing positions on important issues.”

For example, the faction, to which Wagenknecht also belongs, is calling for fuel prices to be reduced. “Others in the party would rather ban the combustion engine right away,” she complained. In addition, it must stop “that party members publicly count other leftists,” said the politician, against whom a party exclusion procedure in the Federal Arbitration Commission had recently failed.

“But it does not only affect the left: the social debate is becoming more and more intolerant. I hear more and more the sentence, ‘This or that position should disappear from the public eye’,” stated the former parliamentary group leader. “What kind of understanding of democracy is that?” Democracy thrives on open discourse. “The outlawing of positions and the public pillory must have no place there.”

Wagenknecht also responded to criticism from Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) of the “Call for a Popular Left”, of which she was one of the first to sign. The head of government had complained that more calls were not needed, but more practical politics. She finds the criticism “difficult to understand,” replied Wagenknecht. Of course, practical politics is more important. “But if you lose the voters’ trust more and more, at some point it will also become difficult with practical politics.”

The election results of the past few months have shown that Die Linke is currently not a popular party. “There is a huge gap in the political system, and many people no longer feel politically represented,” says Wagenknecht. Rising inflation, fear of war, the left must take up these concerns “and give a voice to people who are against an oil embargo, which above all harms us, against rearmament and against the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine”.

Wagenknecht hopes that the party conference at the end of June will bring about a breakthrough. “We need party leaders who stand for a new beginning and have a winning charisma,” she said of the upcoming elections.

This can hardly be seen as support for the candidate for party leader Janine Wissler. Wagenknecht has praise for Sören Pellmann, a member of the Bundestag. With his direct mandate in Leipzig in the Bundestag elections, he proved “that he is able to address different milieus”.

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