Magdeburg (dpa) – In the existential coalition crisis in Saxony-Anhalt, after Holger Stahlknecht’s departure as minister and party leader, the CDU also has to clarify personal issues promptly.
Neither the question of who will lead the Interior Ministry in the future, nor who will take over the state chairmanship has been clarified. The state CDU will not reorganize its top immediately, General Secretary Sven Schulze told the German Press Agency on Saturday. The situation in Magdeburg is also being followed with concern in Berlin.
On Friday, the 56-year-old Stahlknecht had involuntarily lost his job as Minister of the Interior within a few hours due to uncoordinated statements in the coalition dispute over the radio license and then announced that he would retire as CDU chief.
The Magdeburg coalition of CDU, SPD and Greens threatens to break up in the radio dispute: CDU and AfD reject the proposed increase in contribution from 86 cents to 18.36 euros. The SPD and the Greens are in favor. Because of the impending veto in Saxony-Anhalt, the planned increase for all of Germany is on the brink.
CDU politician Stahlknecht had speculated in an interview with the “Magdeburger Volksstimme” about the failure of the black-red-green coalition and announced a subsequent CDU minority government until the regular state elections. Then Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (also CDU) dismissed him.
Haseloff also wants to save the coalition against the background of the difficult Corona crisis and has been rejecting minority governments just as rigorously as dependence on votes from the AfD.
At first, the State Chancellery did not want to say who will lead the important and large interior department in the future. The issue is expected to be resolved next week. A completely new minister will be difficult to find: Nobody knows whether the government and coalition will hold out until the state elections in June, and if they do, that will only be a short term. It is therefore more likely that another CDU minister will also take over Stahlknecht’s portfolio. In addition to Prime Minister Haseloff and State Chancellery Rainer Robra, another four CDU ministers are sitting at the cabinet table.
According to General Secretary Schulze, he and the three party deputies, Education Minister Marco Tullner, Ex-Finance Minister André Schröder and Heike Brehmer, Member of the Bundestag, will take over the tasks of the state chairmanship.
The coalition threatens to break apart if the CDU, SPD and Greens do not still find a common line on how to deal with the state treaty for a higher radio license fee. The CDU wants to block the increase and has a majority in favor of the opposition AfD. The SPD and the Greens want to support the State Treaty.
Haseloff absolutely wants to avoid his CDU voting alone with the AfD. The Christian Democrats absolutely want to prevent them from falling over at the last minute in the upcoming election campaign. The coalition partners absolutely want to prevent Saxony-Anhalt from voting against the state treaty as the only federal state and thus blocking the independently calculated contribution increase for public broadcasters nationwide.
Only if all countries agree to the project by the end of the year, the monthly fee can be increased by 86 cents to 18.36 euros on January 1, 2021. Blocked Saxony-Anhalt is expected that broadcasters call the Federal Constitutional Court to sue for the adjustment.
Several prime ministers have been campaigning for a yes from Saxony-Anhalt in the past few days. Renegotiations are not sensible from their point of view, summed up the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) after a meeting with his counterparts on Wednesday. “It would not be a good signal if the State Treaty failed,” added the Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. “This is also a civic responsibility that every single member of parliament in Saxony-Anhalt has,” said the CDU politician to the editorial network in Germany (Saturday).
It remains to be seen whether an agreement is possible in view of the widely differing ideas of the three allies. An important preliminary decision is due next Wednesday, when the media committee votes on which voting behavior it recommends to the Magdeburg state parliament for a vote a week later. Before that, there are several internal rounds of the parties and parliamentary groups, but also joint crisis meetings of the coalition.
Even after Stahlknecht’s departure, the state CDU made no secret of the fact that it definitely wants to block the higher radio license fee. The Greens, however, expect a signal from the Christian Democrats that they are really ready to negotiate, as state chief Sebastian Striegel said on Deutschlandfunk on Saturday. The announcement “no compromises” cannot be a starting point for negotiations. The party council of the state SPD discussed the current situation and possible solutions via video on Saturday.
Stahlknecht’s expulsion from the cabinet itself could bring the coalition partners a little closer together. It is seen as a strong signal how important Haseloff is to rescuing the coalition – and could force the coalition partners to make concessions. Even on Twitter, where coalition politicians recently fought violent and bitter word battles for days, it sounded conciliatory on Friday evening. “There is always a way and a solution,” tweeted SPD parliamentary deputy Andreas Steppuhn. “We’ll find them.”