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Dispute over Wagenknecht – Left MPs break with party executive

The dispute in the Left Party over the peace policy rally planned by Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer escalated.

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Dispute over Wagenknecht – Left MPs break with party executive

The dispute in the Left Party over the peace policy rally planned by Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer escalated. The former party chairman and current chairman of the Energy Committee in the Bundestag, Klaus Ernst, and the parliamentary director Alexander Ulrich raise serious allegations against the party executive.

“A left that is distancing itself from the largest peace campaign in years has given up any claim to be a peace party. She then no longer needs to be surprised that voters and sympathizers are running away en masse,” the two members of the Bundestag shared with WELT in a joint statement.

The party executive around the left-wing chairmen Janine Wissler and Martin Schirdewan made a fool of themselves with this “decision in the most embarrassing way”. Hundreds of thousands supported the "Manifesto for Peace" initiated by Wagenknecht and Schwarzer, and a great many people would come to the peace rally on February 25 at the Brandenburg Gate.

“But the majority on the party executive prefers to maintain their aversion to Sahra Wagenknecht. Peace policy was once the founding consensus of the left. With this decision, the board is challenging this consensus. How do you want to get back into the Bundestag with such a policy?” explain Ernst and Ulrich.

On Friday, the party leadership of the left declared that they would not support the call for protests by their former parliamentary group leader Wagenknecht on the first anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Wagenknecht, together with the feminist Alice Schwarzer, had called for a demonstration on February 25 at the Brandenburg Gate. The Left Party accuses the initiators of not having clearly differentiated themselves from AfD supporters and other right-wing supporters.

Schwarzer told the "Nürnberger Nachrichten": "A few dozen right-wing extremists against almost a million signers of our peace appeal. What's the weight of that?” In the meantime, more than half a million people have signed the “Manifesto for Peace” calling for peace talks with Russia in the Ukraine war. Wagenknecht and the women's rights activist Schwarzer published the petition in mid-February.

In it, the federal government is called upon to “lead a strong alliance for a ceasefire and for peace negotiations” at both German and European level, instead of continuing to supply weapons to Ukraine. It says that Ukraine cannot win a war against the world's largest nuclear power. Negotiating means "making a compromise, on both sides".

For the anniversary, the left is now calling for protests "for a ceasefire and peace negotiations, against Russia's war of aggression and against the federal government's rearmament program," according to a board decision that is available to the German Press Agency. "It is clear to us that peace and anti-fascism belong together: never again war, never again fascism. In that sense, rights have no place here.”

The decision of the party executive emphasizes Ukraine's right to self-defense and calls for a Russian troop withdrawal. At the same time, the paper criticizes the federal government's "militaristic tunnel vision" and once again calls for diplomatic efforts to end the hostilities.

In addition, it says: “In addition to rejecting aggressive war, parts of the Western governments and military are now pursuing the independent goal of using the war to weaken Russia militarily in the long term. We reject such a shift in goals.”

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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