Berlin – Erik Stohn, the previous parliamentary group leader of the Brandenburg permanent governing party, the SPD, took on a new role on Tuesday at a press conference that was scheduled at extremely short notice: as a kind of voluntary Eastern representative of the SPD in the negotiations for a future coalition in the federal government. As a reason, the 37-year-old said: “Quite simply: Because we won the federal election.”
Irritating task sharing
Even so, his future role remained a bit confusing. Because Stohn voluntarily gives up his career-rich post in Potsdam, although it is not foreseeable what role he will play in the federal government and whether the SPD will even be involved in the federal government. In addition, the law graduate wants to take part in the talks in Berlin as a parliamentary group leader. At the same time, on Tuesday, he proposed the previous parliamentary manager Daniel Keller as his successor to his parliamentary group.
That also sounded irritating to the political observers in Potsdam. Stohn explained it this way: His successor should now familiarize himself with the situation and name people with whom he would lead the parliamentary group. He will then give up the office. The group see behind the plan.
Casting the strong voice of the East is entirely logical from Potsdam’s point of view, as the SPD in Brandenburg won the election again this time and also got all direct mandates. Above all, Stohn wants to campaign for good conditions for the coal phase-out in Lusatia in the federal government. In the south of Brandenburg in particular, the SPD is weak and the AfD is particularly strong, a leading force in many places. Stohn speaks of a division in society there.
When asked whether he wanted to become the official Eastern Representative, he said that he said nothing about possible offices. “If something is to work out well, it is based on trust and secrecy.” He will now work closely with Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke in Berlin. “And in due course there might be something to say again.”