Saturday, November 27

Secretary General Klingbeil: SPD chairmanship is an “attractive office”

Status: 03.11.2021 7:06 a.m.

SPD General Secretary Klingbeil is considered the potential next co-chair in his party. Klingbeil sees this as an honor – but without making it clearer. A preliminary decision on the personnel should apparently be made on Monday.

After SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans announced his withdrawal, General Secretary Lars Klingbeil did not rule out a candidacy to take over the chairmanship of the party. “I am very honored that my name is mentioned for the role of the SPD chairman,” he told the editorial network in Germany. Klingbeil was not more explicit.

“The chairmanship is a very important, traditional and attractive office in which you can achieve a lot,” he said when asked whether it would be more attractive for him to become party leader or to take on a ministerial office. He did not go into the ministerial option.

“Dual leadership has proven itself”

Klingbeil wants to hold on to the leadership of the SPD by a dual leadership. It has proven itself, he told the RND. “When we introduced it as a possibility, the SPD was in a completely different position than it is today. Two chairmen who work in a team are good for the SPD,” said the General Secretary.

The new election of the party leadership is due to take place at a regular federal party conference on the second weekend in December. Still co-party chairman Walter-Borjans, who has led the SPD with Saskia Esken since 2019, will not run again. He announced that last Friday. With regard to the arrangement of his successor, he said: “We will clarify the succession calmly and in close coordination with one another, just as we have worked together for two years.” A proposal should be made quickly.

Preliminary decision probably on Monday

The news agency Reuters reports with reference to party circles that a preliminary decision on the party chairmanship should be made next Monday. The party executive would then decide on a personnel proposal for the dual leadership. This was agreed in a switching conference of the board on Monday evening. Co-party leader Esken said she wanted to decide by then whether to run again.

In this context, Walter-Borjans had spoken of the possibility of a complete change or a “continuation of half a continuity” – that is, with a new candidate alongside Esken. Esken is considered a candidate for a ministerial office. SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich had asked Esken to renounce the chairmanship if she should seek a ministerial office.

Klingbeil is also under discussion as a possible minister. In the party, however, many also expect that he will run for the party chairmanship. The general secretary is seen as a pragmatist, but also maintains a close relationship of trust with left-wing parties like party leader Kevin Kühnert. In conversation as a female co-party leader is Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister, Manuela Schwesig.

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