There is obviously no complete agreement in the front row of the Left Party about how to react to the plans of Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht, confirmed on Thursday, to become politically independent with a new party. While co-party leader Janine Wissler complained on ARD about Wagenknecht’s “ego trip” and called the step “irresponsible,” long-time party leader Bernd Riexinger was downright jubilant. On the short message service X he spoke of a “liberation”:
Our voters finally know again what the Left stands for and what it does for them.
On Thursday, Wagenknecht’s office confirmed reports from the previous evening that an association called the “Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht” would be presented at a press conference next Monday. Wagenknecht then wants to appear in front of the press with several supporters, including the previous co-group leader Amira Mohamed Ali. The association “BSW–For Reason and Justice” was registered a few weeks ago and is likely to be the first step towards founding a party, which is expected to take place in January.
Like Wissler, deputy parliamentary group leader Nicole Gohlke also demanded on Thursday that Wagenknecht’s supporters resign their mandates: “That would be a requirement of decency, because the people voted for the Left.” In addition, simultaneous membership in the Die Linke and in an association to build another political project.
With Wagenknecht’s announcement, the Left parliamentary group in the Bundestag is likely to be on the brink of extinction in the short term. After Thomas Lutze’s recent defection to the SPD, it now only has 38 members. With Wagenknecht, around ten more MPs are likely to leave the party. The remaining members of the Left Party could then only form a so-called group, which has far fewer rights and financial resources. The circle around Wagenknecht could initially only form one group. According to reports, Wagenknecht does not want to leave the faction on his own initiative for the time being; The question, of course, is whether it will still be tolerated there from Monday.