Berlin Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser will be the SPD’s top candidate in Hesse for the state elections in October. The Handelsblatt found out from circles in the state party. Faeser wants to announce at the party’s Hesse summit on Friday in Friedewald that she wants to run for the office of prime minister.
She also wants to keep her position in the federal government in the state election campaign. Faeser will only give up her position as interior minister in the cabinet of Olaf Scholz (SPD) if she wins the election in Hesse and can become prime minister, explained several people familiar with the topic. It is almost impossible that in the event of an election defeat she will move to Hesse as opposition leader, deputy prime minister or state minister.
A possible dual role for Faeser had previously been criticized both by the opposition and by the coalition partners in the federal government, the Greens and the FDP. The functions could not be reconciled, it said. There have already been demands from the CDU that the 52-year-old must immediately give up her position as Federal Minister of the Interior.
Should Faeser remain in Berlin after the election, that would not be unusual. There is even a historical parallel. In 1995, CDU Interior Minister Manfred Kanther was the top candidate in Hesse. The CDU was the strongest force in the state elections, but Kanther was not prime minister. Red-Green retained a majority at the time. Kanther remained Minister of the Interior in Bonn, while Roland Koch took over the role of leader of the opposition in Hesse.
Faeser, who has been state chairwoman of the Hessian SPD since 2019 and Federal Minister of the Interior and Homeland since 2021, kept it open until the end whether she wanted to lead the election campaign in Hesse.
In the last poll by Infratest Dimap, the SPD in Hesse was five percentage points behind the CDU.
Immigration is at the top of Faeser’s agenda
Before moving to Berlin, Faeser had been active in local and state politics since 1996 and was a member of the state parliament for 18 years. The SPD emphasizes that this anchoring in the state also distinguishes them from Norbert Röttgen, who was always active in federal politics and, as Federal Environment Minister and CDU top candidate in the North Rhine-Westphalian state election campaign in 2012, left open whether he would also switch to Düsseldorf as opposition leader. The CDU lost the election, Röttgen wanted to remain a minister – and was dismissed by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
What is undisputed, however, is that Faeser, as interior minister, has a busy schedule: Within the coalition, the major issue of immigration is right at the top of her agenda.
The traffic light wants to break new ground here and, above all, control the immigration of skilled workers. In addition, Faeser, as the federal negotiator in the collective bargaining dispute in the public sector, is likely to have a hot spring ahead. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for February 22nd and 23rd.
With agency material
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