BERLIN – ‘Project-oriented’ cooperation in Thuringia?

After months of political deadlock, the state of Thuringia could see the forming of a governing coalition as the call to create a “project government” with the state’s previous governing coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the Left, was made by former Minister-President Dieter Althaus of the Christian Democrats (CDU).

Coalition-building has been ongoing in Thuringia since no majority was reached in the state elections at the end of October 2019. Partly due to the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the previous governing coalition lost its majority, meaning these parties had to look for other partners, such as the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

Previously, both the CDU and FDP have ruled out working with the Left, but recently, there have been some indications that CDU resolve is softening. Last week, Althaus called on his party to create a “project government” with the Left. Then on Sunday (12 January), the state Minister-President Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke) dined with Thuringia’s CDU party and faction leader Mike Mohring as well as former federal president Joachim Gauck. 

Although they have refused to abandon their plans for a minority government with the SPD and the Greens, the Left is eager to promote this cooperation on certain projects with the CDU. Ramelow believes working together would generate “new ways and ideas in politics.”

However, despite Mohring’s inclinations towards a partnership, this collaboration is far from certain, as the CDU has a policy against working with the Left.

On Monday (13 January), CDU party head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer weighed in, rejecting the idea, stating “we have a very clear party congress resolution [against working with the Left]…The Thuringians know that.” (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de

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