The historic leader of the German Left, Oskar Lafontaine, declared his resignation on On March 17, 2022. The original German has been translated into English by the Delphi Initiative website, Defend Democracy Press.
Published on Defend Democracy Press, Mar 23, 2022
Today I resigned from the party Die Linke. Here is my explanation:
Die Linke was founded to reverse the social cuts and wage squeeze of Agenda 2010. In addition, after Germany’s participation in the war in Yugoslavia, which was against international law, and in the war in Afghanistan, a new force was to emerge that would again consistently stand up for peace and disarmament and respect for international law.
Ordinary and low-income earners and pensioners no longer feel represented by the party.
With a policy geared to these goals, we achieved 11.9 percent in the 2009 federal elections and entered the Bremen and Hamburg parliaments as well as the state parliaments of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Saarland. By 2015 at the latest, however, the party leadership of the Left at the time began to change its political course. In the course of this, the Left gradually transformed itself into a party pursuing similar goals and seeking the same voter milieu as the Greens. As a result, many workers and pensioners turned away, went back to the SPD, became non-voters or voted for the AfD or other parties in protest. In the last federal election, just 5 percent of workers voted for the Left Party.
After the social profile, the peace policy principles are also to be cleared away
It can no longer be overlooked: Ordinary and low-income earners, as well as pensioners, no longer feel represented by the party. After the social profile now also the peace-political principles of the left are to be cleared away. The war against Ukraine, which violates international law, is being taken as an opportunity to do so. On the morning of the special session of the Bundestag, at which Chancellor Scholz announced his gigantic rearmament program, the foreign policy spokesman of the parliamentary group, Gregor Gysi, party chairwoman Hennig-Welsow and other members of the parliamentary group pleaded for approval of the government’s motion, which advocated increasing arms spending and comprehensive arms deliveries to Ukraine. Fortunately, they did not succeed in doing so. Immediately afterwards, it was publicly announced from the party executive that those who stand for the social and peace policy founding consensus of the Left, namely also me, are to be pushed out of the party or excluded. Fittingly, the Federal Arbitration Commission has informed me that the party expulsion proceedings against me are to be handed over to the Berlin State Arbitration Commission, of all places, and decided by it.
In Saarland, the federal party allowed a fraud system to be installed
The creeping change in the political profile of the Left is the cause of the many electoral defeats. In Saarland, the federal party has for years allowed a fraudulent system to be installed in which Bundestag and state parliament mandates are awarded on the basis of manipulated membership lists. A normal party member who is not involved in the fraud system has no chance of obtaining a mandate. I once left the SPD because it had become a party that, in contrast to Willy Brandt’s tradition of social democracy, promoted low wages, cut pensions and social benefits, and supported the participation of the Bundeswehr in wars that violated international law. I wanted there to be a left-wing alternative in the political spectrum to the politics of social insecurity and inequality, which is why I co-founded the Left Party. Today’s Left has abandoned this claim.
I no longer want to belong to a party in which the interests of workers and pensioners and a foreign policy oriented toward international law and peace are no longer central, and which also supports the fraudulent system established in Saarland.
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