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Berlin: Three Parties Elect their Candidates for Governing Mayor

The three Senate parties, namely the SPD, the Greens and ‘Die Linke’ just elected their candidates for Governing Mayor. All of them have a chance, but the Greens are the frontrunners.

Berlin, April 25th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Five months and two days before the elections for the Berlin House of Representatives, all three Senate parties are ready to rumble. The center-left SPD, the center-left Greens and the far-left ‘Die Linke’ elected their main candidates all of whom want to become Governing Mayor. The problem is: Only one person will get there. On September 26th, 2021, Berliners will not only be invited to elect their representatives in Berlin, but also on the local and the federal level.

‘Radical Climate Policies’

As things stand in the polls, the Greens have pretty good chances for naming their first Governing Mayor, because they have been stronger than their coalition partners for quite a while now. With an overwhelming majority, 97.87 percent, their candidate Bettina Jarasch was elected to head the Green election list. She intends to get Berlin’s CO2 emissions down by applying “radical climate policies” as she announced at the ongoing Green party convention.

At this stage, the Greens are one of the two junior partners in Governing Mayor Michael Müller’s government coalition. They do want to continue this cooperation, but as leaders. The latest polls show this is not just a wet dream of theirs, but a real possibility. As things stand right now, the Greens are the strongest party in Berlin. A year ago, the conservative CDU was stronger, temporarily.

Giffey Trailing Behind

But there is someone who is giving the Greens a headache: Franziska Giffey, the SPD’s main candidate who was just confirmed by 85.7 of her delegates. She has a lot of experience, as a former district mayor in Berlin’s rather difficult Neukölln district and as Federal Family Minister, a job she is continuing during the campaign. At least she will not waste too much time travelling back and forth, because the distance between the German capital, Berlin, and the city state of Berlin is exactly 0 miles.

At her party convention, Mrs. Giffey said she wanted a housing policy which included more cooperation, whatever that means. As opposed to the SPD’s two coalition parties, she ruled out dispossessions of large real estate companies. And she promised a “future program” for employers and employees for post-Corona times. In order to become Governing Mayor, Franziska Giffey will have to make some headway and beat her green friends. Today’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller was rewarded for his work. The delegates placed him at the top of the SPD’s election list for the Bundestag.

Conservatives at 16 Percent

‘Die Linke’ did something not considered politically correct in Berlin’s left-wing circles: They actually chose a man to lead them in the election campaign. Since they picked the smart and eloquent Culture Senator Klaus Lederer, voters might forgive them for this choice. At his party convention, Lederer got a respectable 87.6 percent of the votes. ‘Die Linke’ (‘The Left’) wants to be “radical and realistic”, and at least as green as the Greens. Besides, this party is the staunchest supporter of the dispossessions idea.

According to the latest poll by ‘Bild’ and INSA, the Berlin Greens stand at 26 percent right now, while the SPD is still trailing behind with 19 percent, in spite of the “Giffey effect” they were hoping for, and ‘The Left’ can expect 15 percent. With its 16 percent, the conservative CDU will not get too far, unless things change in the coming five months and one day. With around 12 percent support, the extremist right-wing AfD in Berlin is almost back to its pre-Corona levels. The liberal FDP stands at 10 percent.

Related feature: Candidates Galore in Berlin: Big Elections to be Held in Fall

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