On the eve of the federal party conference in leipzig, which begins on thursday, the executive board decided that in future no coalitions would be ruled out before federal elections, with the exception of those of right-wing populist or extremist parties. SPD secretary general andrea nahles said she was counting on broad approval from the roughly 600 delegates.
The party and parliamentary group leaders were at pains to make it clear that they would guarantee the union’s loyalty in the event of a grand coalition; a red-red-green coalition including the left-wing party would only be an option for the 2017 parliamentary elections. Before the elections in september, the SPD had ruled out the red-red-green option, but together they had a slim majority in the bundestag.
One does not look for an emergency exit from the black-red negotiations, said SPD faction vice hubertus heil on wednesday. He still does not consider the left-wing party to be capable of forming a coalition at the federal level. Schleswig-holstein’s SPD minister president torsten albig emphasized that the commitment to the left definitely applies to the time after this legislative period. But: "we already said immediately after the election that a cut-off would be the last time."
The defeated SPD candidate for chancellor, peer steinbruck, is currently critical of an opening to the left: "that’s not on the agenda now," he told the "passauer neue presse". Negotiations are underway with the union on a rough coalition. "We should discuss the strategic perspectives for the time after that, when the question comes up."The decisive factor will be how the left-wing party develops. "We should wait and see and not do our own pirouettes."
Nahles rejected steinbruck’s criticism: "this is very much on the agenda now, because the party conference is supposed to deal with how things are going to proceed in the next few years."
At the party congress from thursday to saturday in leipzig, the new election of the party leadership is on the agenda. SPD leader sigmar gabriel stands for re-election on thursday. He has led the party for four years and can expect a good result. At the 2011 berlin party conference, 91.6 percent of delegates had voted for him.
The SPD leadership had also presented a motion to open up the party to a coalition with the left in order to take on board the critical mood of the grassroots in the matter of a grand coalition. After a rough coalition, it would be a matter of seeing with whom the SPD, as a "left-wing reform party," could best implement its goals.
However, the SPD mentions three conditions. First: "there must be a stable and reliable parliamentary majority."Secondly, there must be a financially viable coalition agreement. And thirdly: "a responsible european and auben policy must be guaranteed within the framework of our international obligations."The SPD does not see this as a given with the left, as it has so far rejected foreign missions and the euro rescue packages.
With a view to the SPD’s leading motion, deputy left-wing faction leader sahra wagenknecht called on the SPD to break off coalition negotiations with the union. Regarding the conditions formulated by the SPD leadership for a left-wing alliance, wagenknecht told the dpa news agency that the european policy of chancellor angela merkel (CDU) "cannot be considered responsible by any thinking person. "Consequently, it (the SPD) should therefore break off coalition negotiations with the union immediately."
Left-wing party leader katja kipping sees the possible reorientation of the SPD as a "late but necessary insight". The SPD accepts that it is not enough for red-green alone in the federal government, she told the berlin newspaper "tagesspiegel. Before the party conference, the SPD remains in a low mood. With 24 percent in the current "stern"/RTL election trend, it fell back by one point compared to the previous week. Only 33 percent of those surveyed trust gabriel to lead the party out of the crisis. In the federal election, the SPD had only achieved 25.7. Nahles said she expects a lively debate about the reasons for this at the party conference in leipzig.