At the Sahra Wagenknecht coalition's first party conference, the founder again called the traffic light “Europe's stupid government” and accused it of leading the country into crisis and worse, into war. “Our country needs a completely new political beginning,” the 54-year-old said Saturday in Berlin.
He left the Left at the end of 2023 and founded a new party under his own name in early January. He is co-chairman along with former Left wing leader Amira Muhammad Ali. About 390 members gathered at the Cosmos theater in Berlin for the first nationwide party conference. They gave enthusiastic applause to WagonConnect's talk.
Wagenknecht: “Politically homeless people” triumph
With her new party, Sahra Wagenknecht wants to win over people disillusioned by the German alliance. “We are now starting to change politics in Germany,” Wagenknecht said at the first federal party conference of the Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW) party.
“We're not in 2.0”
Internally, Wagenknecht warned BSW to pull together. Party members are very diverse, including trade unionists, entrepreneurs, nurses, police officers, theologians, city dwellers and villagers. This difference should be seen as an advantage. “We're not in 2.0, and that applies to how we treat each other,” Wagenknecht said. “Let's take care of each other.”
Wagenknecht has been tough with other parties, including the Union and the AfD. The AfD stands for record spending on weapons, and CDU leader Friedrich Merz in the chancellery “will certainly not be the least evil,” he said. However, he came down heavily on the government, accusing it of incompetence and aloofness. Wagenknecht spoke of “inhumane politics” as weapons were supplied to Ukraine.
A call to “end the gun”.
In addition to peace and freedom of expression, Wagenknecht also identified the pursuit of social justice as central political issues. Specifically, among others, he called for: a higher minimum wage of at least 14 euros an hour, better pensions like in Austria, a health system without pressure on incomes, affordable energy, a rent cap, exit from Economic sanctions against Russia and an “end to arms accumulation”.
BSW General Secretary Christian Leigh insisted on demarcation from the AfD. It feeds people's distrust, but does not advocate for it. People with incomes of 300,000 euros or more will benefit the most from the AfD plan, Leigh said. Former SPD and left-wing politician Oskar Lafontaine – who is Wagenknecht's husband – said the AfD “has positions on economic and social policy that we can never accept”.
Wagenknecht, Mohamed Ali, Leye and other board members were selected in early January. Additional board members are to be elected at the current party convention. Former leftists Frederick Benda and Amit Rafieh became vice-presidents. Journalist Michael Lüders, Bundestag members Alexander Ulrich and Zaklin Nastic and former member Sabine Zimmermann were elected to the extended committee. Former SPD politician Thomas Geisel, who wants to enter the European Parliament, had the worst result with 66 percent.
A unanimous conclusion of the European project
Former leftist Fabio Di Masi is expected to run for the top spot on the European electoral list. The party congress unanimously supported the program for the European elections: “A free Europe of sovereign democracies – peaceful and fair”. It raises the fundamental criticism: “The EU is damaging the European idea in its current constitution,” it says.
One of the key points is the abolition of trading in CO2 certificates, which has so far been a central instrument of climate protection policy. It calls for the indefinite use of combustion engines and a return to oil and gas imports from Russia. The motivation is less EU requirements. If necessary, Germany should not adhere to EU rules. This contradicts the principle that EU rules are binding on all 27 member states. They negotiate with the European Union Parliament.
Commentator: “It's Dangerous”
Wagenknecht went “full-on attack” and mocked traffic lights at his coalition's acclaimed founding party conference. And it goes too far,” wrote “Spiegel” commentator Rasmus Buchsteiner. “The coalition wants to change politics, but it also feeds anti-democratic impulses,” said ARD journalist Uwe Jahn.
“Spiegel” commentator Buchsteiner “in the direction of Wagenknecht should not exaggerate the arguments and populism”. ” said Buchsteiner.
“The 'Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance' could change Germany,” said ARD commentator John. “In terms of social policy, this may even be a victory. However, with his positions on Russia policy, the myths that plague public debate and his sympathy for those who assume political responsibility, he is feeding anti-democratic impulses. This is dangerous,” he said.