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Election campaign final sprint with 1000 Scholz supporters against 3000 lateral thinkers

In any case, the police are doing a great job this Saturday in Hanover.

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Election campaign final sprint with 1000 Scholz supporters against 3000 lateral thinkers

In any case, the police are doing a great job this Saturday in Hanover. Several hundreds had the city center firmly under control by noon. In front of the market hall, in front of the market church, in front of the opera house, on the Kröpcke, the central square of the capital of Lower Saxony, there are dozens of police vans everywhere. Later, in the afternoon, officers on horseback are also on the move.

Officials take up positions on the roofs of two buildings on the edge of the marketplace. The square itself is shielded with bars. Down here, too, the police are omnipresent on the day before the state elections in Lower Saxony. The SPD wants to hold its final rally today. Stephan Weil is coming, the Social Democratic Prime Minister and election favorite. Malu Dreyer has also announced herself, Weil's Mainz colleague. And Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

But before the Berlin head of government enters the stage to call on people to stick together in the crisis and to elect Stephan Weil, a few hundred meters away, on Opernplatz, the replacement of the Prime Minister and the Federal Chancellor is very loudly demanded, too of the Federal Government as a whole and by Robert Habeck, the Green Economics Minister in particular. Basically, as becomes apparent shortly after the beginning of the rally organized by the Lower Saxony lateral thinker scene, the people who gather here no longer want anything to do with parliamentary democracy. Instead, they demand “politician liability”, “no abolition of cash” and an “entry into direct democracy”.

In order to express these and other concerns - such as the repair of Nord Stream 2, an end to arms deliveries to Ukraine, the abolition of the Infection Protection Act and peace with Russia - the organizers have also registered a protest march in the direction of the market church. This is also a reason for the massive police presence in downtown Hanover. The equally martial and celebrated insults with which the main speaker on the rainy Opernplatz covers the politics of the Berlin traffic light government - we are talking about incompetent and corrupt "political clowns" who have to be fought "absolutely uncompromisingly" - justify this caution the law enforcement officers.

It is, without a doubt, a rather oppressive atmosphere on the day before a state election that will not really shake the republic in the foreseeable future. Stephan Weil, which seems more likely in view of the polls, will probably be able to continue governing in Hanover. Presumably with the Greens as a coalition partner instead of the CDU as before. The FDP must tremble for staying in the state parliament, the AfD – which is not noticeable on the Opernplatz – can expect a double-digit result.

In his second appearance in the Lower Saxony election campaign, Olaf Scholz saved himself too much praise from Weil and devoted his short speech almost exclusively to the nation's critical situation. The chancellor promises to support Ukraine "as long as it is necessary, including with weapons, of course." He promises the Germans to "do everything" to ensure that prices, especially energy prices, fall again in this country. And he repeats his assessment that "we will probably get through the winter safely", to which the two southern German nuclear power plants would also make their contribution.

Scholz says nothing about the third nuclear power plant, which is located in Lingen in Lower Saxony and which, at least from the point of view of the CDU, FDP and AfD, could also make a contribution. Instead, he uses his performance to make an appeal, which should perhaps also be aimed at those who are currently moving through Hanover's city center with drums, whistles and "Weil muss weg" chants. "This is a moment," says Scholz, referring to the war in Ukraine and the economic crisis, "when the country has to stand together."

In Hanover, the state is quite far from such a state on the day before the state elections in Lower Saxony. A police spokeswoman estimates the number of participants in the protest march against the SPD rally with the chancellor at around 3,000. Around 1,000 people took part in the final rally of the Social Democrats.

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