Can Franziska Giffey lose an election and still govern? SPD co-chairman Lars Klingbeil did not want to rule this out in Sandra Maischberger's broadcast on Wednesday evening. "Nobody sticks to an office," said the SPD politician - but also made it clear: "Stable government does not mean that it is derived from arithmetic majorities."
The result of the election to the Berlin House of Representatives also concerned the other guests on the show. In addition to the Bild journalist Paul Ronzheimer, the ARD correspondent Kerstin Palzer and the cabaret artist Urban Priol were invited. Above all, he had mockery for the Berlin election: "It's very funny, especially when you look at Berlin from the outside." Giffey's party landed almost ten percentage points behind the CDU and only a few votes ahead of the Greens. Nevertheless, a continuation of the previous red-green-red coalition is mathematically possible.
This would be "a clear disregard for democracy," said Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder at the beginning of the week. Priol sees this as a pure “outrage culture”. "If Wegner makes it and gets a coalition together, then it's okay and if not, then the others have to see where it goes," says the cabaret artist. Paul Ronzheimer, on the other hand, finds the SPD's hopes of being able to continue to provide the governing mayor in Berlin "particularly ridiculous". The journalist recalled the behavior of the Social Democrats after the last federal election.
At that time, the SPD was 1.6 percentage points ahead of the Union and saw the CDU candidate Armin Laschet as the clear loser in the election. "Everyone who said otherwise was flattened," says Ronzheimer. In Berlin, the Union is now 9.8 percentage points ahead of the SPD. Giffey doesn't seem to be bothered by that at the moment. "She doesn't have to resign," says Palzer, "but I think it would be better if she did."
Ronzheimer was harder in his judgment: "Of course she has to resign!" Klingbeil's behavior on the show, however, did not suggest Giffey's resignation any time soon. The SPD politician praised his party member for her "good style". Klingbeil doesn't seem to mind that Giffey wasn't even able to win her own constituency in Berlin. "We now have an unclear situation in Berlin," said the SPD man, "I think it's absolutely right that Franziska Giffey remains responsible."
According to a report in the "Bild" newspaper, Kevin Kühnert is said to have already been traded as a replacement for Franziska Giffey – which provoked "Bäh" calls from the audience at Maischberger in the program. Klingbeil, however, made it clear: "I need him as Secretary General in the Willy Brandt House."
Dispute in the broadcast on Wednesday evening also provoked the topic of the Ukraine war. Olaf Scholz should stop “the escalation of arms deliveries”, Wagenknecht and Schwarzer demand in their “Manifesto for Peace”. 461,000 people have already signed it. The publicist Alt was one of the first to sign. He "doesn't just want to talk about weapons," the journalist explained, "but more than before about peace." But it is not a “Manifesto for Surrender”. Göring-Eckardt can't do much with the demands: "First of all, we have to create a prerequisite for talking on an equal footing."
The Vice President of the Bundestag is bothered by the "such empathetic language" in the manifesto. It was abstractly the speech of rape. "You have to name it clearly," said the Green politician, "the Russian attackers are doing it!" Publicist Franz Alt didn't really come up with any concrete ideas for ending the war in Ukraine.
Instead, he indulged in demands to intensify existing Ukrainian-Russian contacts. But even his earlier good contacts with the late Mikhail Gorbachev, which Alt repeated like a mantra, could not help him here.
Without arms deliveries, Ukraine would no longer exist, Alt confessed: "That's why I was always in favor of us supplying defensive weapons." However, Alt had to adjust when it came to the difference between offensive and defensive weapons: "I'm a journalist, not a weapons specialist." They agreed Alt and Göring-Eckardt that it is important to look at the situation in Ukraine on the spot.
Ronzheimer had just returned from there yesterday. The journalist reported on ongoing Russian attacks on the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine: "Anyone can die there." Nevertheless, many people in the city persevered - especially older people. A ceasefire would only help Russia to send more soldiers. Göring-Eckardt only sees the possibility of an end to the war if "Putin becomes and remains clear: nobody will give in!"