Greens: Cem Özdemir prevails against Anton Hofreiter

In a power struggle for the Green ministerial posts in the new federal government, the former party leader Cem Özdemir prevailed against parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter. Greens Federal Managing Director Michael Kellner informed the membership of the personnel table on Thursday evening. According to this, Özdemir becomes Minister of Agriculture and Food. The party left, Steffi Lemke, is to become Minister of the Environment and Anne Spiegel from Rhineland-Palatinate to be Minister of Family. As expected, the Foreign Office goes to co-party leader Annalena Baerbock, while Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection becomes co-party leader Robert Habeck. The previous Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth will become Minister of State for Culture and Media in the Chancellery.

The announcement was preceded by an internal dispute and the nomination – not as originally expected – was announced at the Bund-Länder-Forum of the Greens that started on Thursday. Party leader Robert Habeck said at the event that the corresponding list should not be announced until Friday. Only then can the strike vote begin. According to reports, there was a quarrel between the left wing and Realos. The left wing opposed the planned occupation of a ministerial office with the Realo Cem Özdemir. The left-wing parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter stood up against Özdemir within the party.

Ministry of Transport goes to FDP

Habeck himself is to become Vice Chancellor in addition to his ministerial job. Otherwise, the Greens still get the departments for the environment and consumer protection, food and agriculture and family, but not for the transport department they were hoping for. This should take over the FDP. “We would have liked to have had a few more ministries, but the others must have something too,” said Habeck.

Habeck compared some of the party’s future ministries to a shamrock. He referred to the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture; these ministries, which will go to the Greens in the future, have often blocked each other in the past, according to Habeck. The responsible bodies should give further advice after the federal-state forum in order to clarify the personnel issues. Habeck appealed to the Greens members to vote for the coalition agreement negotiated with the SPD and FDP in the upcoming ballot. “Let’s rule Germany,” said the party leader.

The personnel decisions, which are to be made by the federal executive board and then by the party council of the Greens, are “a very demanding task,” said the federal executive director of the Greens, Michael Kellner. According to the Greens, the strike vote should take ten days. In addition to digital voting, voting by letter should also be possible. A simple majority is necessary for the adoption of the coalition agreement and approval of the personnel board. There is no quorum.


The co-chairman of the Greens, Robert Habeck, in Berlin on Thursday
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Image: AFP

Before Özdemir’s announcement, top Green politicians from several federal states had spoken out in favor of the former party leader as federal minister. His nomination, however, was particularly pushed from the south-west of Germany. Baden-Württemberg’s finance minister Danyal Bayaz tweeted on Thursday evening: “I can’t imagine a cabinet with Green participation in which Cem Özdemir is not part. And I think: that’s the way most people feel in this country. ”Bayaz and Özdemir are both from the Realo wing of the Greens in Baden-Württemberg and have Turkish roots. Hamburg’s second mayor Katharina Fegebank also wants her party friend Özdemir as federal minister. “I am sure like very, very many people in this country: A federal cabinet with Green participation is difficult to imagine without @cem_oezdemir,” tweeted the science senator on Thursday evening.

According to reports from the party, Baerbock and Habeck also spoke out in favor of Özdemir, who is considered popular by the public.

Support for riders came from the camp of the left. Attempts were made to push out the doctorate in biology, who is also technically the better candidate for the ministerial office, it said. This attempt was initially stopped in the course of the day. At one point in the party it was said that Habeck and Baerbock had underestimated the support for Hofreiter, who had fought for unity in recent years. Özdemir, on the other hand, wanted to displace Hofreiter in the dual leadership of the parliamentary group two years ago, but failed. Hofreiter himself did not want to express himself on the sidelines of a federal-state forum of the Greens. When asked, he said only stereotypically: “The coalition agreement is very good.”

Özdemir was federal chairman from 2008 to 2018 and won the most votes of all successful direct candidates for the Greens in the federal elections. He got 40 percent of the first votes in his constituency of Stuttgart I. This even made him the king of the vote among the direct candidates of all parties in the southwest.

For Katrin Göring-Eckardt, who is still empty in the current personnel table, the office of Vice President of the Bundestag, which Roth has held so far, is now under discussion.

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