In Offenbach the right-wing populists get advice on the administrative board of the Sparkasse, in Frankfurt a seat in the honorary magistrate.
The members of the Offenbach government coalition made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP left the gym of the Edith Stein School on Thursday evening. The SPD parliamentary group leader Helena Wolf had asked for an interruption of the meeting of the city council after the election of members for the administrative board of the municipal savings bank had not gone according to the ideas of the traffic light coalition. “That mustn’t happen,” said Wolf. “This is a bitter chapter,” added the Greens parliamentary group leader Sybille Schumann. FDP parliamentary group leader Dominik Schwagereit spoke of a “regrettable oversight”. And the deputy chairman of the AfD parliamentary group, Hans-Joachim Münd, smirked: “That went stupid.”
What happened? In the election for the nine-member board of directors according to the Hare-Niemeyer process, four votes were invalid, so that only seven of the nine seats could be distributed. Four for the coalition, one for the CDU, one for the left and one for the Offenbach parliamentary group’s list for all. The coalition missed three of the invalid votes, one from the CDU, to get another seat each. As a result, the list of the coalition, the CDU and the AfD, which had received five votes, all three had a quota of 0.71. Thus, a lottery procedure had to decide. City councilor Stephan Färber (SPD) was the first to pull the slip with the AfD, and then the CDU. That meant that, of all people, Mayor Sabine Groß (Greens) will not sit on the board of directors.
“That sarcasm is hard to beat,” commented Schwagereit. Obviously, some city councilors confused the election to the administrative board with the election for honorary judges at the Hessian administrative court in Kassel, which followed. In this election four votes could be given out of five lists. There the coalition had agreed with the CDU to vote each other in order to get the respective two-thirds majority for each candidate. That worked too.
In the election to the Sparkasse Board of Directors, only one vote was allowed. A look at the invalid ballot papers showed that two votes or more were cast. “That must be avoided in the future,” emphasized Wolf. Schumann said that the electoral process would be explained in more detail in future elections. Schwagereit is also hoping for a learning effect and assured that “we will continue to work with the Sparkasse based on trust.” Even if it was not the signal that was hoped for. The attempt to prevent a post for the AfD in the honorary magistrate was made in Frankfurt on Wednesday. But he failed. Ökolinx-ELF and “Die Fraktion” had asked for votes for their lists in order to be able to pass the AfD and receive the posts. “It’s about an anti-fascist act,” said Jutta Ditfurth (Ökolinx) that evening. But there had been no clear agreements beforehand.
In the end, Ökolinx-ELF and “Die Fraktion” received a few more votes, but it was not enough to keep the AfD out of the magistrate. Nico Wehnemann, head of the parliamentary group of “Die Fraktion”, made accusations against the left who had not cast a vote. The left faction fought on Twitter: “The only realistic chance would have been mutual agreements between the democratic forces in advance.” Wehnemann said he had tried for weeks to bring about the agreements. But without success.
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