Presidential election: Steinmeier’s opponents – what Otte and Trabert stand for


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From: Cindy Boden

Steinmeier’s opponents in the presidential election: Max Otte (left) and Gerhard Trabert (montage) © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de/Reiner Zensen/Imago

Not only Frank-Walter Steinmeier wants to be elected Federal President by the Federal Assembly in mid-February. Linke and AfD also nominated candidates.

Berlin – It seems almost certain that Frank-Walter Steinmeier will remain Federal President for another four years. In a joint letter, the party and faction leaders of the traffic light partners SPD, Greens and FDP as well as the Union leaders proposed the former SPD chancellor candidate for re-election. Without opposing candidates, the incumbent will not go to the Federal Assembly on February 13: Left and AfD have also nominated candidates.

The Federal Assembly elects the Federal President: Steinmeier’s opponents, Trabert and Otte

The left proposes the Mainz social doctor Gerhard Trabert (non-party). Party leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow described the 65-year-old, who is known for his commitment to the homeless, the poor and refugees, on Twitter as a “people of action with a big heart”. “Professor Gerhard Trabert is on the road every day with the doctor’s mobile to take care of the homeless, worked as a doctor and sea rescuer in many crisis areas, was honored with the Federal Cross of Merit,” wrote left-wing faction leader Dietmar Bartsch.

Trabert sees his candidacy under the slogan “dare more social justice”. “Many politicians are so far removed from the reality of life of the recipients of transfer payments that they can no longer understand what it means to have to live on Hartz IV,” he told the dpa.

Candidate Trabert, proposed by the left: He is known to some from the federal elections

According to Trabert, it must be the task of a Federal President to emphasize the issue of inequality in Germany more strongly. In the corona pandemic in particular, far too little attention is paid to the fact that illness and mortality are very much linked to social status. Trabert also accused the federal government of not doing justice to Germany’s humanitarian responsibility in the face of the plight of refugees in the Mediterranean.

The doctor is the founder and chairman of the Association for Poverty and Health in Germany. He has repeatedly taken part in civilian operations to rescue migrants at sea in the Mediterranean. In the 2021 federal election, Trabert already surprised some: He ran in the constituency of Mainz as a direct candidate for the left – and got 12.4 percent of the first votes from the start. However, he did not make it into the Bundestag.

Candidate Otte, proposed by the AfD: the nomination caused a stir

Steinmeier’s second opponent, Max Otte, caused a lot of excitement even before the election day: the fact that the AfD chose a CDU politician for its nomination heated up tempers. He has meanwhile announced his resignation as chairman of the Union of Values, an arch-conservative CDU-related association. The CDU leadership has also initiated proceedings against the 57-year-old to be excluded from the party. Otte had often been accused of being close to the AfD. Until January 2021 he was chairman of the board of trustees of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation.

In addition, Otte has already announced that he will withdraw from active party politics after running for the presidency. “The office of Federal President or the candidacy is above the parties and at the end of a political career. What should come after that?” said the economist of the dpa. “So this candidacy also means my departure from the party-political stage.”

Presidential election: Otte wants to outdo Steinmeier – he shares the concerns of the candidate Trabert

Otte called the candidacy “one of the most honorable tasks and highest honors in the country that can be brought up to you”. Counter-candidates are traditionally used to draw attention to important issues in the country. He said he shares the concern of Leftist candidate Trabert, for whom the issue of poverty and impoverishment in the middle class is important. In addition, he, Otte, has repeatedly taken a stand against restrictions on democracy and fundamental rights in the wake of the corona pandemic. he turns against the brutalization of political discourse and increasing exclusion, explained the fund manager.

Federal Assembly elects Federal President: Steinmeier, Trabert, Otte – who will it be?

The Federal Assembly meets on February 13 to elect the Federal President. It will have 1472 members – the 736 members of the Bundestag and just as many people who send the 16 state parliaments. The result of the federal presidential election will be available immediately on election day. Incidentally, the Basic Law regulates who is allowed to stand: According to Article 54, every German who has the right to vote in the Bundestag and has reached the age of forty can be elected. (food / AFP)


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