Status: 10.12.2021 2:26 p.m.
In an open letter, activists and politicians spoke out against ex-Left Party leader Ernst as chairman of the climate committee. There is still excitement and anger about AfD personalities.
Activists and several left-wing politicians are protesting against a possible candidacy of the Bundestag member and former Left Party leader Klaus Ernst for chairing the Committee on Climate and Energy in the Bundestag. This emerges from an open letter to the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, which, among others, members of the climate movement Fridays for Future and several left-wing local politicians have signed.
Lots of prominent signatories
In the document titled “Don’t You Seriously”, that is available online, the undersigned argue that the Left Party politician has repeatedly criticized ambitious climate policy demands in the past and is not the right person for the position of chairman of the climate committee. The news magazine “Spiegel” had previously reported on the protest letter.
“In the past, Klaus Ernst has repeatedly spoken out against effective climate policy positions and the left-wing program, for example with formulations such as ‘we must not become greener than the Greens’,” the letter said. It is a mystery why the Left Party as an “eco-social party” wanted to send Klaus Ernst of all people to the climate committee. Ernst served “rather the narratives of the FDP and DAX bosses than those of those who fight for a 1.5-degree-compliant climate policy,” the letter goes on to say.
The signatories include the Fridays for Future activists Luisa Neubauer and Carla Reemtsma and left-wing politicians such as the district mayor of Berlin-Pankow, Sören Benn, and the climate politician Ferat Koçak.
Decision next week
Neither the left faction nor Ernst himself wanted to comment on the protest on Friday. There was also initially no official confirmation of a possible candidacy by Ernst for the only committee chair position to which the left-wing parliamentary group is entitled in this legislature. According to information from the dpa news agency, the decision is to be made in a parliamentary group meeting in the coming week.
The chairmanship of the committees in the Bundestag is redistributed in each new electoral term. The chairman posts in the committees are assigned according to the size of the parliamentary groups. This happens in several rounds, whereby the largest fraction is always allowed to access, then the second largest, the third largest and so on. This is followed by further rounds according to the same pattern. The largest opposition faction – now the CDU / CSU – traditionally holds the chairmanship of the budget committee
Scandal over the AfD chairmanship in the interior committee
There is also excitement and controversy about the chairmanship of the Home Affairs Committee. This is to be led in the future by the AfD. After the other parliamentary groups had not selected this with their first access right, the AfD parliamentary group attacked the interior committee. The Greens, for example, chose to chair the European Committee when they distributed the posts when they had their first right of access. The party justified its choice in terms of content, for example with the implementation of the planned EU climate package, the issue of flight and asylum and a common foreign policy.
The International Auschwitz Committee sharply criticized the events. “It would be disastrous and strange to hand over the chairmanship of the Interior Committee to the AfD, which is involved in the smear campaigns against democracy all over the country and has long since been riddled with right-wing extremists,” said the Vice President of the Organization of Holocaust Survivors, Christoph Heubner. He also called it a “signal of thoughtlessness”.
Police union criticizes AfD chairmanship
The federal chairman of the Police Union (GdP), Oliver Malchow, called it incomprehensible that a party had been awarded the contract for the Interior Committee, “in whose ranks openly Nazi slogans as well as hatred and agitation against dissenters, minorities and foreigners not only tolerated, but also to some extent be promoted “. It is also very surprising that the other factions left the AfD to chair the Interior Committee.
In addition to the chairman of the interior committee, the AfD also chairs the committees for health and economic cooperation and development.
Sensitive personnel in the Defense Committee
In addition, the AfD wants to send a soldier classified by the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) as an extremist and a member of the Bundestag elected to the Defense Committee. The parliamentary group named Hannes Gnauck today as one of four AfD members in the body, as participants in a parliamentary group meeting confirmed. The committee is responsible for the parliamentary control of the defense ministry and the armed forces and is involved in some secret meetings.