In regional elections held to the Thuringian State parliament (Landtag) in Germany on October 27, Sunday, the Left Party (Die Linke)-led Red-Red-Green coalition emerged as the single largest force. Die Linke won the most number of seats while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) doubled its presence. The Die Linke, led by incumbent prime minister Bodo Ramelow, won 29 seats in the 90-seat parliament, one more than their previous tally. But their coalition partners, the Social Democratic party and the Greens, lost four and one seats respectively and the Red-Red-Green coalition is four seats short of a simple majority. The AFD got 22 seats.
German chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faced a major setback in the elections and lost 13 seats to end up with 21. The CDU has traditionally been reluctant to work with Die Linke. But in the wake of a resurgent far-right, there have been demands that it support the Red-Red-Green coalition. The liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), which won five seats, could also play a key role in the formation of the next government.
In a statement, Die Linke expressed its gratitude to the Thuringian voters whose support helped it become the strongest party in a federal State for the first time.
On the other end, AfD continues its rise in Germany, cashing in on the anti-incumbency against the CDU government at the federal level and channelizing it through a hyper-nationalist, anti-migrant and homophobic political campaign.