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East is the right thing

Germany is vigorously discussing the results of the elections in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, which brought many surprises. Chief among them is the success of the ruling CDU. Although the Christian Democrats were already expected to be in first place, no one expected them to go far ahead of the competition with 37 percent of the vote.

The CDU is followed by the “Alternative for Germany” (20.8 percent), which, contrary to forecasts, turned out to be far from becoming the first political force in the region. but firmly entrenched in second place as the undisputed leader of the opposition. But the results of the Social Democrats and the left, who continue to lose votes, look deplorable. Why is the leftist idea defeated on the territory of the former GDR, while voters in the land of “workers and peasants” flee to the right camp? How do the elections in Saxony-Anhalt affect the political landscape in Germany ahead of the fall elections to the Bundestag? German political scientist Alexander Rahr told RG about this:

– On the one hand, these were land elections with their own specifics, reflecting the state of affairs in the eastern lands of Germany – if not in all, then in many. On the other hand, they demonstrate certain trends common for the country. In my opinion, the Christian Democrats have won a decent victory thanks to the fact that the situation with the pandemic as a whole is improving. Vaccinations are working, the quarantine is beginning to weaken, people have breathed in the air of freedom. This benefits the Merkel party, which is rising again. Christian Democrats feel they are in favor again. The Saxony-Anhalt campaign was the last before the main Bundestag elections in September. In this sense, the winner was not only the prime minister of this land, Rainer Haseloff, but also the chairman of the CDU, who heads the party’s list at the federal level, Armin Laschet. I think he now has a better chance of taking the Chancellor’s chair than the Greens candidate Annalena Berbock. The more interesting the race to the finish line will be when everything is done.Political forces will try to give their best.

In many eastern states, “Alternative for Germany” becomes a real people’s party

Result “Alternative for Germany” is presented by the liberal German media as almost a “failure”. Obviously, the press is playing its game to sink the AfD. But we see that virtually every fifth resident of Saxony-Anhalt voted for the “Alternative”. She received more votes than all other parties combined (except for the CDU). Obviously, it was supported, among other things, by opponents of the government’s measures to combat the “crown.” In many eastern lands, “Alternative” is becoming a real people’s party. I think that in the elections to the Bundestag, she can get 10-15 percent or even a little more. Much depends on what other scandals will emerge, whether protest moods will intensify.

Meanwhile, the left, the Social Democratic idea was in failure. The historical defeat of the SPD, which has forever lost the status of a “people’s party”, continues. At the federal level, it has an absolutely disgraceful rating – 13 percent. In Saxony-Anhalt, the Social Democrats received around eight, even less than five years ago. Yes, in some regions they are still strong, for example, in cities such as Bremen and Hamburg, and even in Berlin, where there are no well-to-do citizens. But on the whole, the SPD cannot mobilize the agenda, it has been dismantled by other parties, including the “greens” (it is another matter that they are generally disliked in eastern Germany, and the “greens” made it to the Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt with difficulty). 18>

Well, the left (actually the successors of the Socialist Unified Party of Germany. – Approx. “RG”) in general, everything is sad. In the lands of the former GDR, they ceased to play the role of the people’s party, got confused in their program, mixing it with the slogans of the same “greens”. In addition, in foreign policy, the left has relied on a transatlantic partnership and support for NATO, although it could play on the pro-Russian feelings of East German voters.

Alternatively, however, advocates ties with Russia, and uses social slogans on the domestic agenda. All this leads to the fact that the traditional electorate of the left – the working class, the poor, poor inhabitants of the “new lands” – is leaving for the AfD.