Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans has admitted that the CDU debacle in Sunday’s state elections is linked to his person. “That is why I take responsibility for this result,” Hans said Monday at a joint news conference with CDU federal chairman Friedrich Merz in Berlin, to which he was connected by video. The CDU gave “provided reasons” for the fact that Hans has not traveled to the Federal Capital.
He will draw “personal consequences” from the electoral defeat, Hans said. He will discuss exactly what they look like on Monday afternoon and evening with the party committees in Saarland “in silence”. He did not answer specific questions about his resignation as state president or his seat as a member of parliament. Merz expressed the hope that Hans would not retire from politics.
The Saar-CDU, led by Hans, fell to 28.5 percent on Sunday after gaining 40.7 percent five years ago. The Christian Democrats had been the head of government in the Saar for almost 23 years without interruption. According to the preliminary result, the Social Democrats received 43.5 percent of the vote (2017: 29.6). They won 29 of the 51 seats in the state parliament and thus would not be dependent on a coalition partner.
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The winner of the elections, Anke Rehlinger, wants a single SPD government in Saarland. The way is now clear for the coming days and weeks in terms of government formation, Rehlinger told ARD “Morgenmagazin” on Monday.
It must be launched quickly. It is important that a new government comes into force quickly. “And I want to take care of that, and in this case as one government.”
Rehlinger was surprised by the clarity of his electoral victory. The survey values have been good and stable in recent weeks. “The fact that in the end there will be an absolute majority, that has exceeded my imagination, and I am a fundamentally optimistic person.” It is a very nice result.
Rehlinger emphasized that the issue of work was the decisive factor for the inhabitants of the Saarland. “That’s why I want it to be a matter for the heads of the State Chancellery,” he said. “Structural change is pervasive in our country.” It must be coordinated within the state government, but also with important partners outside of government.
More about the state elections in Saarland:
Apart from the SPD and the CDU, only the AfD managed to enter the Saarbrücken state parliament with 5.7 percent; The FDP and the Greens were unable to re-enter parliament, the left was elected from the state parliament and only got 2.6 percent. (dpa)