Coalition with the left in MV: In the first ballot – Schwesig takes up a new term of office

Coalition with the left in MV
In the first ballot – Schwesig starts a new term of office

Manuela Schwesig remains Prime Minister in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In the first ballot, the SPD politician receives the majority required for a second term. For her second term in office she changed her coalition partner.

Around seven weeks after the election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the state parliament in Schwerin confirmed Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig in her office. In the vote, Schwesig received 41 of 79 votes – 35 MPs voted no, three abstained. The 47-year-old is thus Prime Minister of a newly formed coalition made up of the SPD and the Left.

Mathematically, the red-red coalition has a majority of 43 of the 79 parliamentary seats. In the secret ballot, Schwesig received two fewer votes than the alliance that supports them. Schwesig has been the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania since 2017. So far, she has headed a state government made up of the SPD and CDU.

CDU: false start

After her re-election, Schwesig appointed her cabinet, which, like her, was sworn in before the state parliament. The ranks of ministers are made up of equal numbers of women and men. The SPD occupies six departments, two of the left. Deputy head of government and education minister is the previous parliamentary group leader of the Left, Simone Oldenburg. The Justice Ministry took over the left-wing member of the state parliament, Jacqueline Bernhardt. In the meantime it had been speculated that the leader of the Left in the Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, could return to his native country as minister of the state government.

Interior minister was Christian level. He had previously headed the disbanded Department of Energy. Heiko Geue, previously head of the state chancellery, became finance minister. Social Affairs Minister Stefanie Drese and Agriculture and Environment Minister Till Backhaus remained in office. Reinhard Meyer moved from the Ministry of Finance to the head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Bettina Martin (all SPD), most recently Minister of Education, took over the newly created Ministry for Science and Culture.

The CDU parliamentary group chairman Franz-Robert Liskow described Schwesig’s election result as a “false start” for the left-wing coalition in view of the two missing votes. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was facing politically difficult years, he said. According to the Greens, the coalition started “with willful irresponsibility” when it comes to climate protection. The balance sheet of the Minister of Agriculture and Environment Backhaus, who has been in office since 1998, is flawed. AfD country spokesman Leif-Erik Holm warned that the business location would be damaged under red-red.

Organic farming, new holiday, election from 16

Schwesig and Oldenburg, who also headed the negotiating delegations of their parties, signed the coalition agreement between the SPD and the Left at the weekend. Previously, separate state party congresses had approved the draft treaty almost unanimously. According to both sides, the talks went smoothly and much faster than originally expected.

The SPD and the Left put their coalition agreement under the motto “Awakening 2030”. Among other things, wind and solar energy as well as hydrogen technology are to be promoted and a thousand additional teaching positions are to be filled. A state climate protection law should regulate, among other things, how Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania can obtain its energy exclusively from renewable sources by 2040.

Other plans of the new government include expanding organic farming, planting five million trees and declaring International Women’s Day on March 8 a public holiday. In addition, the coalition wants to establish a nationwide dial-a-bus network and lower the voting age to 16 years.

The state parliament was constituted at the end of October. The SPD emerged as the clear winner from the state elections on September 26th. It reached 39.6 percent and thus nine percentage points more than in 2016. The Left suffered – like the AfD and the CDU – losses and came to 9.9 percent. The Greens and FDP returned to the state parliament after a long absence.

In parliament, the SPD has 34 seats, the AfD 14. The CDU has twelve members, the Left has nine seats. The Greens and FDP are each represented by five parliamentarians.

From 1998 to 2006 Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was ruled once before by a red-red coalition led by the SPD. It was the first red-red state government after reunification in 1990. At that time, the SPD worked with the PDS for two legislative periods, from which the Left later emerged.

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