GERMAN LEFT PARTY PRESENTS BETS FOR SEPTEMBER POLLS
With less than five months to go before Germany chooses a new parliament and chancellor, the hard-left Die Linke party has presented its top candidates for the election campaign, Deutsche Presser-Agentur (dpa) reported.
Janine Wissler and Dietmar Bartsch, the co-leader of the party and the co-leader of its parliamentary faction respectively, will be the party's flagbearers in the lead up to the September 26 polls.
Die Linke won 9.2 percent of the vote in the last Bundestag elections in 2017 and is currently polling at between 6 and 8 percent. Key policies include reducing poverty, taxing the rich and disarmament.
So while it has no realistic chance of forming a government itself, it could form part of a future coalition government.
The two politicians span a wide generation gap, with Wissler - regarded as being on the left-wing of the party - a relative newcomer at 39; experienced party strategist Bartsch is 63 years old. "Our goal is to hit double figures this election year," Bartsch said on Monday.
The surge of the Green party and the poor showing of center-right has led to speculation that the Greens could lead a coalition with left-wing parties after the September elections, and that this coalition could include Die Linke.
The same three-way coalition has a track record at state level, including in the regional government in Berlin.
The security and foreign policies of Die Linke however may rule out such a grouping at national level. Die Linke rejects NATO as a "war alliance" and rules out any role for German troops abroad.
Greens co-leader Robert Habeck recently called for Die Linke to adjust its policies and show it is "ready for government" but those calls have so far fallen on deaf ears.