The politician Sahra Wagenknecht has announced that she is leaving the Left party. “We have decided to found a new party,” said Wagenknecht at a press conference in Berlin on Monday. The decision in favor of the party has been made, said the previous Left co-group leader, Amira Mohamed Ali. The time has come to leave the left, she added. At the same time, she announced that Wagenknecht and her supporters were “willing to remain in the left-wing faction.” The association “Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht – For Reason and Justice” was founded to prepare a new party, it said in a written statement. (dpa/jW)
* * *
Junge Welt exclusively documents the resignation of Wagenknecht and nine other members of the Bundestag as well as other politicians from the party Die Linke:
Why we are leaving THE LEFT
Dear members of the party DIE LINKE,
We have decided to leave THE LEFT and build a new party. This step was not easy for us. Because THE LEFT was our political home for years or even decades. Here we met fellow campaigners, many of whom became companions and some of whom became friends. We spent evenings and weekends with them at party events and worked extra shifts during election campaigns. It is difficult for us to leave all this behind us – politically and personally. If there had been a better way, we would have happily taken it. Because we feel connected to many of you, we would like to justify our decision.
The conflicts of the last few years have been fought over the political course of the LEFT. We have repeatedly argued that the wrong priorities and lack of focus on social justice and peace are diluting the party’s profile. We have repeatedly warned that the focus on urban, young, activist milieus is driving away our traditional voters. We have repeatedly tried to halt the party’s decline by changing its political course. We weren’t successful with that – and as a result the party had less and less success with voters. The history of the LEFT since the European elections in 2019 is the history of political failure. The respective party leadership and the officials supporting them at the state level were determined not to discuss this failure critically under any circumstances. No responsibility was taken for this, nor were any substantive consequences drawn from it. Rather, those who were critical of the party leadership’s course were identified as the culprits for the results and were increasingly marginalized.
Against this background, we no longer see any place for our positions in the party. As an example, the “Uprising for Peace” of February 2023 should be remembered. It was the largest peace rally in almost 20 years. Tens of thousands gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Although, and precisely because, around half of the population rejects the government’s military course, the country’s entire political establishment resisted and defamed the rally. Instead of supporting us in this dispute, the LEFT party leadership stood shoulder to shoulder with the other parties: They accused the initiators of the rally of being “right-wing” and were thus the catalyst for accusations against us.
The political spaces for us in the party have become so small that we can no longer fit in with our backs straight. We know from our regional associations: This is how many members of the LEFT feel. We also want to create a new political home for them with the new party.
We do this out of inner conviction, because a party is not an end in itself. What drives us: We no longer want to accept political developments. The socially devastating traffic light policy is costing large parts of the population income and quality of life. German foreign policy munitions wars instead of seeking peace solutions. Conflicts are escalating internationally, the emerging bloc formation is a threat to world peace and will bring massive economic upheaval. At the same time, opposition to this political development is increasingly being sanctioned and pilloried in public discussion. But democracy needs diversity of opinions and open debates. The government’s inability to deal with the crises of our time and the narrowing of the accepted corridor of opinion have pushed the AfD to the top. Many people simply no longer know how to express their protest any other way. In this situation, THE LEFT no longer appears as a clearly recognizable opposition, but rather as a softened “Yes, but…” party. With this course it has fallen below the perception limit of the population. There is currently everything to suggest that it will no longer be represented in the next Bundestag, while the AfD is polling at over 20 percent. We have a responsibility to take seriously the fight for the direction of politics and the future of our country again. To do this, we want to build a new political force, a democratic voice for social justice, peace, reason and freedom.
We are going against our old party without rancor and without backlash. The conflict is over for us. We know: Some of you have been longing for this step, others will be disappointed and others will now wait to see how things develop. We say to all of you: We want to separate like adults. A War of the Roses would harm us all. The LEFT party is not our political opponent. We would also like to say to the many of you with whom we have worked with trust for many years: We are ready for discussions and would be happy to welcome you to our party at a suitable time.
Sahra Wagenknecht, Amira Mohamed Ali, Christian Leye, Lukas Schön, Jonas Christopher Höpken, Fadime Asci, Ali Al-Dailami, Sevim Dagdelen, John Lucas Dittrich, Klaus Ernst, Andrej Hunko, Zaklin Nastic, Amid Rabieh, Jessica Tatti, Alexander Ulrich, Sabine Zimmermann