Merzig (dpa) – Oskar Lafontaine sees non-voters as an important target group for his wife Sahra Wagenknecht’s new party plans. “I’m sure this will be very interesting for those who haven’t voted for many years,” the former left-wing politician told the German Press Agency at his home in Merzig, Saarland. “I support this project because it is politically necessary.”
Many voters no longer feel represented by the parties in the Bundestag. “This can also be seen from the fact that voter abstention has continued to increase in recent years,” said Lafontaine. The new party, which will be founded in early 2024, “will receive a lot of support, especially from non-voters and those who are reluctant to vote,” he said. “And vice versa across the party.”
The importance of the party is also demonstrated by the fact that “the AfD is often elected simply because of the protests,” Saarlander said. These are “everyday life issues” that relate to society’s “fears and needs” – and which are not covered by the current parties. Currently no party adequately looks after the interests of the “little people” – such as pensioners and low-income workers.
The response to the emerging party has been “overwhelming,” Lafontaine said. Now the organization is starting: “Structure is being created.” As with all other parties, there must be regional associations. He himself will not take any role in the new party. “I will stay in the second row.” Lafontaine left the Left Party in 2022, which he co-founded in 2007.
“We need lower energy prices for society and the economy,” he demanded. Rather than buying Russian oil and gas through India and Belgium, Germany should buy it directly from Russia. “We need better pension funds. The average pensioner in Austria has 600 to 800 euros more than in Germany.” And: “We need a minimum wage of 14 euros, a program for cities, social housing and a resumption of Eastern policy and détente so that the war in Ukraine does not spread to the rest of Europe.”
Early last week, Wagenknecht announced his departure from the left and plans to found a new party. Firstly, the association “Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance” will collect donations for this purpose. The party is planned to be founded in January. According to Wagenknecht, he should run in the European elections in June 2024. His aim is also to take part in the state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg in September.
Lafontaine, now 80 years old, was Prime Minister of Saarland (1985-1998), future SPD chancellor (1990), federal chairman of the SPD, federal finance minister, one of the founders of the Left Party and leader of the party and its parliamentary group in the Bundestag. Most recently he led a left-wing faction in the Saar state parliament.
Looking at his wife’s project, Lafontaine said the challenge now lies in the organizational field. “Organization and financing must now be managed.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa:231101-99-779340/2
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