According to Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left), the left must review its position on the causes of the war in Ukraine as well as on arms deliveries to Ukraine. “Everyone on the left condemns the war against Ukraine,” said Ramelow on Saturday at his party’s state party conference in Bad Blankenburg. However, if some believed that NATO was to blame for the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin had attacked Ukraine, “then the situation has been turned on its head”.

It is a war that Putin is waging out of imperial aspirations. “The attacker’s name is Putin.” The Russian president started the war to defend the system he created with the oligarchs. Ramelow advocated confiscating money from oligarchs worldwide. The left would have to talk about redistribution again. He also thinks of the special profits made by oil companies as a result of the war, says Ramelow.

The party congress, which also dealt with the crisis in the federal party, was actually supposed to clarify the state association’s position on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. This ultimately did not happen because the left platform withdrew a controversial application. In it, she took the view that more and more NATO members in Eastern Europe were a reason for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

This stance was contradicted in several motions – as was the Communist Platform’s criticism of the 100 billion program for better equipment for the Bundeswehr. According to state chairman Christian Schaft, a grassroots conference may now clarify the attitude of the Thuringian left to the war in Ukraine.

The Left Party is in an existential crisis. She only returned to the Bundestag because of three direct mandates, but failed at the five percent hurdle in the state elections in Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. One of the two federal chairmen, Thuringia’s former head of state Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, resigned from her position a few weeks ago. In addition, internal party allegations of sexual assault shook the party.

At the party congress, Ramelow called for a structural change. One problem of the left is that it has three centers of power, the federal executive board, the parliamentary group and the federal committee. It is important to him that the left speaks with one voice in the future. For this, the party must be fundamentally reformed. “Just exchanging heads is not a departure,” said Ramelow.

The second party leader, Janine Wissler, says she wants to run again at the federal party conference in Erfurt at the end of June. “I’m very happy to be party leader and I still have a lot planned,” said Wissler in Hanover. Wissler said on Saturday that she wanted to make a contribution to the renewal of the left with a renewed candidacy.

Left veteran Gregor Gysi also wants to get involved and is planning an initiative to save his party. A renewal of content and personnel is necessary, said Gysi. “I won’t let any party down in the crisis,” he said. He takes on “a certain responsibility without a function”. However, the 74-year-old ruled out his own candidacy as party leader or again as parliamentary group leader.

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