Gysi will Linkspartei wieder als Ostpartei

11 Oct. 2021 12:48 p.m.

The party Die Linke is supposed to become the party of the East again. That is what Gregor Gysi, former party leader and parliamentary group leader, demands. Today’s foreign politician analyzes the disastrous election result of his party in the magazine “SUPERillu”.

The election result of the party Die Linke with just under five percent describes its long-time parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Gregor Gysi, as “disastrous”. Only thanks to the direct mandates won by him, Gesine Lötzsch and Sören Pellmann in Berlin and Leipzig can the party move back into the Bundestag. This is even possible in factions, as more than five percent of the MPs come from the Left Party.

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Gysi, last foreign policy spokesman for his group, wrote in the current issue of the magazine SUPERillu, which is mainly read in East Germany, settled in a guest post with his party and its previous course. He only sees a chance of survival in Die Linke returning to its original source, East Germany.

“Former SED members have become a rarity,” writes the lawyer. In December 1989 he helped to secure the survival of the former GDR state party “Socialist Unity Party of Germany” (SED) as the renamed and rebuilt “Party of Democratic Socialism” (PDS). It was pushed to the left and remained the political voice of East Germany for a long time. In 2007 the West German WASG and the East German PDS merged to form the Left Party.

New thinking

According to Gysi, there are now more West German than East German members – with consequences, as he notes:

“This has led to a new way of thinking, to a different structure in the party. All of this could be a gain if the mistake had not been made of restricting the Eastern identity.”

The former chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Sahra Wagenknecht, sees her party’s problem more fundamentally. In her book “The Self-Righteous: My Counter-Program – for Common Sense and Cohesion” she criticizes the fact that in her party, too, “left-liberal academics” have said goodbye to the social question and have turned to an authoritarian identity politics. That was even answered with demands to expel her from the party.

That will not threaten Gysi, who does not go so far as to remind his party that it had its best time and the greatest approval as a social protest party. Instead, he calls for a return to the East German identity, which is now only and “increasingly” represented by the AfD. “Every month we have to submit a motion to the situation in East Germany through us in the Bundestag,” demands Gysi.

Vielstimmiges Chaos

He also sees the “polyphony” in the party as a problem, which is why it is no longer clear to the citizens who stands for which political issue. The now 73-year-old ex-front man of the Left Party complains that there are too much arguments about content-related issues. For many people this creates the impression “that we do not care about them, but mainly about ourselves”.

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Gysi cites the Afghanistan war as an example. The Left Party and its predecessor had always criticized it as “wrong” and “disaster”. But due to the different voting behavior of their MPs on the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr this year, a “chaotic picture” was given.

He also criticizes the Bundestag election campaign and, above all, statements made about possible coalitions. “Not all of the formulations for exploratory and coalition talks were happy,” he notes. Gysi was considered to be one of those in his party who sought a “red-red-green” coalition with Olaf Scholz’s candidacy for the SPD. “30 years in the opposition are enough for the left,” he said in an interview in August 2020. And added: “We have to play a different role.”

But now he is in the SUPERillu firmly: “Only there is no majority for the SPD, the Greens and the Left.” The former head of the PDS and the Left Party, behind which nothing and nobody seemed to come for a long time, writes:

“Ultimately, politics is always made by people and you have to think about which people are most suitable for which broadcasts on which topics.”

Lost connection

Gysi complains that only two percent of voters with a main degree vote for the Left Party. “It is particularly tragic, however, that the party in the east is not only well behind the AfD, the SPD and the CDU, but not infrequently also behind the FDP. That has never happened before.”

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Today’s foreign politician in his party again contradicts those who believe that the Left Party is calling for the Federal Republic of Germany to leave NATO. This idea has weakened the position of the Left Party. There is only the “vision” of replacing the Western war alliance with “a security alliance that includes Russia”. But that is currently “unthinkable”.

Instead of a dispute over the disastrous election result, Gysi demands “self-critical conclusions and a departure” from his comrades. In addition to the return to the Eastern identity, he is interested in “real social proposals” and “ecological sustainability in social responsibility”. And his party must “of course stick to the peace policy”.

More – Gregor Gysi calls for a “dialogue policy” for better relations with Russia, China and the USA

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