A few days after the federal elections, a dispute has broken out among left-wingers over the future course of the party’s refugee policy in particular. Party leader katja kipping rejects criticism from former chairman oskar lafontaine.
"Anyone who takes a right-wing course on the refugee issue risks the credibility of the left," kipping said in berlin.
Lafontaine, the husband of left-wing top candidate sahra wagenknecht, had rated the left’s performance among the unemployed and workers in the federal election on facebook as disappointing. One key factor, he said, was the "failed" refugee policy of the left and of the other parties represented in the bundestag to date. "A left-wing party must not override the principle of social justice when helping people in need," lafontaine said.
On the evening of the election, lafontaine had already made it clear to the deutsche presse-agentur that, in his view, the left should score strong points against the afd on refugee policy. 400.000 left-wing voters had migrated to the afd according to infratest dimap. Now lafontaine added: "whoever finds so little support among workers and the unemployed (and that was still different in 2009) is responsible for the left’s poor performance among the unemployed!), must finally think about what this is due to."
Lafontaine, who heads the left-wing parliamentary group in the state parliament of saarland, fired a broadside against kipping and co-party leader bernd riexinger: "the two party leaders themselves find little approval among voters."
The left-wing member of parliament nicole gohlke replied on facebook: "i am so fed up with these constant attacks on our party leaders and with this equally false and inflammatory theory that refugee solidarity is something like an antagonism to advocacy for social justice and is responsible for the left’s poorer performance among the unemployed and workers."She will always take this position from now on. "It’s enough!"
After lafontaine’s statement, kipping warned: "it would be disastrous if the left were to try to become the CSU of the east in terms of refugee policy."The party leader emphasized: "we defend the right to asylum, we need a sustained fight against the causes of flight and we want a social offensive that benefits everyone, native as well as refugees."
Wagenknecht had already argued similarly to her husband after the election: "of course the refugee issue played a central role for those who left us and joined the afd."There are overlaps in the electoral potential of the left and the afd in the east. "We simply have to think about it."Kipping has long been said to be a rival of wagenknecht.
It is now eagerly awaited how the left will reposition itself in terms of personnel. It is expected that wagenknecht and co-faction leader dietmar bartsch will meet at a party retreat on 17 june. And 18. October in potsdam again be elected to the leadership of the deputies. A proposal for the top functions comes from the party leadership.
Rumors had recently been circulating that kipping herself wanted to head the parliamentary group. The party leader, however, already rejected this. The left had improved its result in the election by 0.6 points to 9.2 percent, but as a former opposition leader now takes third place in the opposition behind SPD and afd.