Germany’s faltering Left party seeks new leadership and direction

Germany’s far-left Left Party is set to change leadership in the autumn, according to a report from a party crisis meeting held in the wake of its steep drop in support in the European elections, news agency dpa saw on Sunday.

Co-leaders Martin Sirdewan and Janine Wisler have made it clear they do not intend to continue in government after having led the party together since 2022.

A working group has been appointed to draw up the party’s positions on content, strategy and leadership ahead of its annual party conference in Halle, southwest of Berlin, in October.

The party traces its origins, through several changes, to the Communist party that ruled East Germany until reunification in 1990 and drew most of its support from the region.

In the European Parliament elections earlier this month, the party won just 2.7% of the vote, roughly half its share five years ago.

“The results of the European elections were a major blow for the Left Party,” said the resolution passed after the plenary session, adding: “In short, we have to admit that our electoral strategy did not work.”

The party suffered a crushing defeat in Germany’s 2021 federal elections and subsequent state-level elections.

The resolution noted that the party’s main themes were social justice, climate change, peace and opposition to rearmament, while foreign policy and immigration dominated the election.

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