German Left-led coalition emerges as single largest force in Thuringian State parliament

This is the first time that Die Linke, which won 29 seats, has emerged as the largest party in the parliament of a State in Germany. The far-right AfD doubled its tally in elections held on October 27

October 29, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Thuringian elections
The Red-Red-Green coalition led by Bodo Ramelow of Die Linke is 4 seats short of a majority in the State parliament.

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.