Greens elect new party leadership

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Green politician Omid Nouripour speaks at the federal party conference of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Your predecessors Baerbock and Habeck led the Greens into government. For the successors as federal chairmen, it is now a question of defining the role of the party.

Berlin – Change of leadership in the Greens: A good seven weeks after the start of the traffic light federal government, the party has elected a new board.

The duo at the top are now the left-wing social politician Ricarda Lang (28) and the Realo foreign politician Omid Nouripour (46). The two members of the Bundestag were elected to succeed Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck as party chairmen at an online party conference on Saturday. According to the party, Lang received 75.93 percent of the votes, Nouripour got 82.58 percent.

The digital votes now have to be confirmed by postal vote, which should happen by February 14th. Only then are the new ones formally in office.

The two previous party leaders Baerbock and Habeck are now ministers in the new government made up of SPD, Greens and FDP. The current foreign minister and the economics and climate protection minister had led the Greens in tandem for four years and, according to the party’s rules, could not remain party chairmen as ministers. Baerbock and Habeck were elected to the party council.

Long online due to corona infection

Lang ran unopposed. According to the statutes, the leadership duo of the Greens must include at least one woman. In addition to Nouripour, there were two other applicants for the second post. Due to a corona infection, Lang was unable to speak on the stage in the Berlin Velodrom, where a manageable group of top Greens was gathered. The several hundred delegates were connected online. Lang is assigned to the left wing of the party and was previously deputy leader.

In her application speech, Lang emphasized that government participation was a huge opportunity for the Greens, even if compromises were necessary. “Government isn’t a punishment, it’s a huge opportunity,” she said. The combination of climate protection and social justice must be made the basis of Green policy. Lang told Deutschlandfunk on Sunday that it was about shaping participation in the party in such a way that concerns could be carried into everyday government life. You need a joint cooperation between the cabinet, parliamentary group and party.

Nouripour is a prominent foreign politician and has been a member of the Bundestag from Frankfurt am Main since 2006. He was born in Iran and came to Germany with his family at the age of 13. He assigns himself to the Realo wing. In his application speech, he said his goal was to move the party forward in order to “be able to play in the K-question again”. With his candidacy he wants to motivate people with a migration background to get involved in politics.

Nouripour: “Unity is a natural requirement”

Nouripour made it clear that the new party leadership should coordinate closely with the Greens ministers in the government. “Unity is of course the order of the day, especially in the government,” Nouripour told ZDF’s “heute journal” on Saturday. The decisive factor is that the party also describes the long-term perspectives. As an example, he referred to the general speed limit on motorways that the Greens were aiming for – such a thing had failed in the coalition negotiations, mainly because of the FDP: “We don’t have a speed limit because we were able to bring the coal phase-out forward. Nevertheless, we want to have a speed limit in four years at the latest.”

The Greens also elected a new political secretary, Emily Büning. The 36-year-old will succeed Michael Kellner, who is now Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection.

In retrospect, the federal treasurer Marc Urbatsch, who was confirmed in office, admitted to errors in the approval of corona bonuses of 1,500 euros by the party executive. “One thing is clear: With the knowledge we have today, we would no longer make such a decision,” said Urbatsch. “Criticism within the party is understandable and justified.” The Berlin public prosecutor’s office is investigating the initial suspicion of infidelity against the previous board. The board has now paid back the bonuses, the rules have been changed. dpa

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