On March 4, Wednesday, Bodo Ramelow from the Die Linke was elected as the State prime minister by the legislators of the Thuringian State assembly in Germany. Ramelow is to run a minority government with the support of 42 members in the 90-seat assembly. He heads a Red-Red-Green coalition of the Die Linke (29 seats), the Social Democratic Party (SPD) (8) and the Greens (5). Ramelow’s election was made possible with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with 21 seats abstaining from the vote.
The earlier vote to elect the Thuringian PM, on February 5, had thrown up a massive controversy when Thomas Kemmerich of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) attempted to form the government by aligning with the CDU and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Such a nexus between the liberals and the far-right drew widespread protests across the country and Kemmerich was forced to resign immediately. The national leaderships of the leftist, liberal and even conservative sections condemned this alliance, as the support of the far-right party had hitherto been shunned.
Ramelow led the Red-Red-Green government in Thuringia from 2014 to 2020 and became the first leftist head of State in unified Germany. Even though Die Linke led by Ramelow emerged as the single largest party in the Thuringian State assembly in the elections of October 2019, his coalition lost a few seats and lost the simple majority in the assembly.
Following his re-election as the State PM on March 4, Die Linke’s leadership congratulated Ramelow and said: “there is another stable and social government in Thuringia. After four weeks, the dam break could be democratically corrected. We thank everyone – whether in other parties or as demonstrators who have successfully worked on it. From Thuringia, we can learn that the right does not win if there is a real alternative to solidarity.”