Praise from the Chancellor, criticism from the opposition: Reactions were mixed when Interior Minister Faeser announced that he would be a candidate from the SPD in the Hessen elections.
The state SPD is meeting today in Friedewald in East Hessen on Friday, after Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser announced that she would become the SPD’s number one candidate in the state elections in Hessen.
The main plan was to announce the squad decision for the 8 October elections at this meeting. However, Faeser made his candidacy public on Thursday. He wants to stay as Home Secretary during the election campaign.
CDU politician Throm: Faeser is just “part-time minister”
However, reactions to Faeser’s statement have been mixed. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was confident that his minister’s work would not be affected, while politicians from other parties criticized Faeser’s new dual role.
Alexander Throm (CDU), local spokesman for the Union faction in the Bundestag, accused Faeser of breaking his oath of office. “Nancy Faeser is not fulfilling her oath before the German people as Minister of the Interior. There is an election campaign from now on,” he told the Bayern media group. The office does not tolerate a “part-time minister”.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister, Herbert Reul (CDU), said a state election campaign cost more energy and time than Faeser could muster in his office.
Green politician Mihalic: “Ministry needs full attention”
Irene Mihalic, parliament speaker of the Greens caucus, was also skeptical. “The Federal Department of the Interior is one of the largest assemblies in the federal government and it needs our full attention,” he told the RND.
The police union is also skeptical of Faeser’s plans. “We have a very difficult political situation because of the Ukrainian war and immigration,” said Andreas Roßkopf, who is in charge of the federal police of the police unit (GdP), Germany’s editorial network (RND).
The Federal Ministry of the Interior is also very demanding. “You’re really busy with him.”
Praise from Chancellor Scholz
Chancellor Scholz, however, dismissed criticism of Faeser’s dual role. said:
“A very professional, a great minister who has done a great job,” Faeser said during a question and answer session with the citizens in Marburg on Thursday evening.
SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert was also optimistic about their chances in the elections. “With his mix of local realism and federal political experience, he has the best chance of giving Hesse new momentum as Prime Minister,” he told RTL/ntv broadcasters. Faeser is by far Hesse’s best-known face and his candidacy therefore makes sense.
Statement planned at the Hesse summit
At Friday’s Hessen summit, the party is scheduled to issue a press release (5:30 p.m.) on the best candidate. Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland prime ministers Malu Dreyer and Anke Rehlinger (both from the SPD) are expected to be guests of Friday’s meeting.
The next day, the Hessian Social Democrats want to discuss their priorities for the state election campaign behind closed doors.
In Hesse, the Social Democrats have been in opposition since 1999. The Christian Democrats are in a race with incumbent Prime Minister Boris Rhein. Economy Minister Tarek Al-Wazir has been vying for the Greens, who have been in government since 2014.
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