KCan you step down from an office that you have been elected to but have not assumed? The question has arisen since it became known on Thursday that the federal government has forbidden the CSU MP Stephan Mayer, who was the parliamentary state secretary responsible for promoting top-class sport until December 2022, to join the presidium of the German Olympic Sports Confederation on a voluntary basis until December 2022.
The general assembly of the DOSB elected him as vice-president in December. Mayer cannot tell whether he will give up the office or continue to let it rest. Instead, he says that he has neither received an official notice nor a reason for the decision made by the Scholz cabinet on January 5th – the “left-liberal federal government,” he writes. He calls it an unheard-of and strange process that media representatives were informed before him.
The Federal Press Office presented the process differently. Mayer was to be informed immediately by letter. A reason is usually not given. It is already contained in the law as follows: If someone, after leaving the country, deals with matters in which he was active in the federal government, this could affect the public interest. Apparently, this also applies to volunteering.
The decision should not have surprised the political professional. Mayer’s successor in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, SPD MP Mahmut Özdemir, warned in December that it was clumsy and insensitive that Mayer wanted to vote first and then have his commitment checked.
No choice between red and black
There were also reminders at the election meeting. The slight suspicion that the ban could be motivated by party politics is unfounded. In addition to the former constitutional judge Michael Gerhardt, who was once nominated by the SPD and who was not party to the party, and the Green Party Krista Sager, the committee that recommended Mayer’s leave of absence includes the former CSU chairman Theo Waigel.
The Presidium of the DOSB should increase its efforts to co-opt someone who has their political home in the Union. President Thomas Weikert, Vice President Verena Bentele and the upcoming chairman of the board, Torsten Burmester, are all not politicians, but members of the SPD.
Should Mayer decide to run for president after his maternity leave period, the choice should not be between red and black. After the Hörmann era, sport did not deserve a party-political dispute on its back. He couldn’t take it.
In retrospect, it is astonishing that the search committee headed by former Federal President Christian Wulff made Mayer one of three presidential candidates in December. Equally amazing is that after Mayer withdrew, he returned as a candidate for the vice-presidency and was elected by the assembly with 257 (out of 417) votes. This also shows that the DOSB still wants to become politically competent.