Monday 24, April
Berlin SPD members vote for a coalition with the CDU
For the leadership of the party, it was uncomfortably close. On Sunday afternoon, the Berlin SPD announced that their membership had voted in favour of forming a coalition with the conservative CDU by a slender margin: their proposal passed with 54.3 percent of the almost 12,000 votes. This now clears the way for Berlin to welcome its first CDU mayor in two decades. Kai Wegner will move into the Rotes Rathaus following the signing of the coalition agreement on Wednesday.
“The SPD has decided to go backwards and move away from a socially and ecologically just, cosmopolitan Berlin.”
It could have been different. There were enough votes for the previous Red-Red-Green coalition to have remained in place and, understandably, the leaders of the Greens and DIE LINKE spoke critically about this deal.
“It’s not a good start,” commented Bettina Jarasch, leader of the Berlin Greens, referring to the slender margin of SPD members who were in favour of their own party’s new direction. “The SPD has decided to go backwards and move away from a socially and ecologically just, cosmopolitan Berlin.”
Leaders of DIE LINKE echoed these sentiments and appealed directly to the more than 45 percent of SPD voters who did not want this deal to go ahead. “There are many social democrats in our city who know that governing together with the CDU in Berlin has never brought anything forward.”