A New Political Party in Germany Taking Shape
Since the publication of a petition by Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer on Feb. 10, calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace diplomacy, which was signed by several hundred thousand people, and the mass rally in Berlin on Feb. 25, expectations were high that it would give a boost to the formation of a new political party (cf. SAS 7, 9/23). After all, both senior Linke party member Sahra Wagenknecht and leading political feminist Alice Schwarzer have many followers across party boundaries. But although the former announced she would not run for re-election on a Linke ticket in the 2025 national elections, due to disagreement with the party’s capitulation to mainstream anti-Putinism, not much has happened over the past several months, except that the party executive, around chairman Martin Schirdewan and chairwoman Janine Wissler, declared in June: “The future of the Linke is a future without Sahra Wagenknecht.”
But the situation is changing, with a series of public and less public hints that the expected new political party could be announced in September. On Aug. 6, Wagenknecht sypathizer Amira Mohamed Ali announced she would not run for re-election as co-chair of the Linke’s group in the Bundestag. On Aug. 11, the former co-founder and chairman of the Linke Party, Klaus Ernst, took his colleagues to task, in an interview with Bavarian radio. There is “a large troop of politically incompetent clowns in the party,” he said, both in the executive board and the rank and file. “There are people in the party whose contact with work is limited to the fact that they once stocked a shelf at Aldi as a pupil or student,” he added, in addressing the party’s transformation from a socialist pro-worker force to a mixture of “woke” and various other anti-industrial currents. Wagenknecht herself had already denounced this trend as “lifestyle leftism” in a book.
In addition, another prominent Linke party member in the Bundestag, Alexander Ulrich, attacked the party leadership, which “despite years of electoral defeats does not want to understand why we are hardly electable among many workers, socially disadvantaged people or peace movements”. Rather than trying to win those voters back, he charged, the party leadership is adopting radical climate policies in a “fundamentally wrong” attempt to court Green voters.
But the party leaders seem to be deaf to such protests, despite the fact that the Linke could lose heavily in Sept. in the two elections for state parliament in Bavaria and Hesse, especially if a new party is formed. Opinion polls have given the new party a potential of up to 20% in future national elections…