Germany’s ailing Die Linke is looking for new leaders and new directions


Germany’s far-left party Die Linke (The Left) will undergo a leadership change in the autumn, according to reports from a crisis meeting of the party following a collapse in support in the European Parliament elections, dpa learned on Sunday.

Co-leaders Martin Schirdewan and Janine Wissler have made it clear that they do not intend to remain in office. They have led the party together since 2022.

A working group has been appointed to set the course for party positions on content, strategy and leadership ahead of the annual congress in Halle, southwest of Berlin, in October.

The party has its origins in a series of changes in the communist party that governed East Germany until reunification in 1990 and which drew most of its support from that region.

In the European elections in early June, the party won only 2.7% of the vote, about half the figure five years earlier.

“The outcome of the European elections was a heavy blow for Die Linke,” a resolution adopted after the session said. “In short, we must acknowledge that our electoral strategy did not work,” it added.

The party performed poorly in the 2021 German federal parliamentary elections and in subsequent state elections.

The resolution noted that the party had made social justice, climate change, peace and opposition its central themes to promote rearmament, while foreign policy and migration dominated the election.

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