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"Need signal to the population that cronyism with Putin is unacceptable"

WORLD: Mr.

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"Need signal to the population that cronyism with Putin is unacceptable"

WORLD: Mr. Sevinc, you and your colleagues failed at the first attempt to exclude Gerhard Schröder from the SPD because of his attitude to the Ukraine war and his closeness to Putin. Why don't you accept the decision of the arbitral tribunal?

Ali Kaan Sevinc: Because the statutes of the SPD give us the opportunity to appeal the decision. We duly requested the party order procedure according to the statutes, and according to these rules it must also be continued.

WORLD: So you are a paragraph rider?

Sevinc: Neither that, nor is it primarily about morality. Morally we are certainly in agreement, this is a legal decision. It's all about one thing: Gerhard Schröder's behavior, his pro-Russia stance, his statements about the war in Ukraine and his posts, which he continues to hold in a Russian company, are damaging to the party. That should be made clear.

WORLD: The legal experts in your party say that Schröder's behavior is never enough to exclude him from the party. The arbitral tribunal of the Hanover sub-district also came to the same conclusion. What do you actually want to achieve?

Sevinc: That the former chancellor doesn't get away with an acquittal, as would be the case now. We need a signal to the population that cronyism with Putin is completely unacceptable. Gerhard Schröder is aligning himself with someone who is responsible for the fact that war and persecution are taking place in Ukraine every day, that energy prices are skyrocketing and that many people here in the country will face massive problems. That must at least be reprimanded.

WORLD: And it should help shift responsibility from the SPD to Schröder.

Sevinc: No, but the former chancellor is undoubtedly an important figure in the war in Ukraine and when it comes to our energy problems. If he were that influential, why doesn't he ask Putin to supply us with more gas? What Gerhard Schröder does has nothing to do with the principles of the party, we have to make that clear.

WORLD: A reprimand from the party for a former chancellor - isn't that a bit petty?

Sevinc: What counts is the attitude behind it. And this attitude is: Gerhard Schröder is a lobbyist in Moscow's service, he is no longer a social democrat, he stands alone, is completely isolated in the party.

Our local branch was one of four in the party who were the first to initiate a party organization procedure, and we will continue to do so together with other branches. The Ruhr area in particular is strongly represented here.

WORLD: But you can already see that Gerhard Schröder also has his merits?

Sevinc: One never becomes chancellor just like that. And Gerhard Schröder won two federal elections. He did things right, like saying no to taking part in the Iraq war. But he is also doing a lot of things wrong in Russia's war against Ukraine.

WORLD: Six local groups are currently trying to punish Schröder – out of an estimated 10,000 in the party. Isn't the truth that you're pretty much alone in the party?

Sevinc: There always has to be someone who leads the way. History has shown that. The encouragement from the population, especially in the Ruhr area, is clear here.

WORLD: And before the story do you want to show that the SPD's proximity to Russia and the fatal dependence on Russian gas are solely a thing of Gerhard Schröder?

Sevinc: There were several actors in foreign and energy policy that made us so dependent. And for the past 16 years we have had a CDU chancellor. Anyone who criticizes the current situation should at least take this into account.

WORLD: You don't think that the SPD was particularly closely linked to Russia?

Sevinc: There were close relationships, yes. We have found that. The SPD made mistakes there. But it is also the SPD, with its current Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is in the process of healing the consequences with their current policies and initiating a paradigm shift.

After the decision of an SPD arbitration commission for former chancellor Gerhard Schröder to remain in the party, the SPD district association Mettmann wants to appeal the party order procedure. In addition, a classification by Jacques Schuster, WELT chief commentator.

Source: WORLD

WORLD: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) spoke out in favor of commissioning Nord Stream 2 a few months ago. According to your logic, shouldn't a party order procedure also be instituted against Schwesig?

Sevinc: There was consensus that Germany should phase out nuclear energy and coal and rely on renewable energies and gas as a bridging technology. Against this background, it is understandable that a Prime Minister is trying to position her state in the best possible way. She has now admitted that dealing with Nord Stream 2 was a mistake.

WORLD: Pretty late, right?

Sevinc: We are all human and humans make mistakes.

WORLD: The party exclusion process against Thilo Sarrazin dragged on for ten years – and yet you want to continue in the case of Gerhard Schröder?

Sevinc: That doesn't scare me at all. The Schröder case is also much clearer. Once again: We want to work together to ensure that Gerhard Schröder's behavior that is damaging to the party is identified and at least reprimanded with a clear stance and signal to the population.

"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, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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