Germany's Die Linke parliamentary group will not last much longer, an MP who recently defected from the party has claimed. (EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK)


Germany’s Die Linke group ‘will soon dissolve’: party defector


Germany’s Die Linke parliamentary group will not last much longer, according to an MP who recently defected from the party.

Thomas Lutze, who now is a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), has insisted that his new colleagues were more than willing to accept defectors from the hard-left group into their ranks.

“I believe that the left-wing faction in the Bundestag will soon dissolve,” he said, describing Die Linke as a whole as becoming increasingly directionless in recent years.

“[Die Linke is] so poorly positioned in terms of personnel and strategy that it can no longer seriously pursue its goals,” he added.

He added that the SPD’s decision to accept him into the centre-left party proved that the “door … is open” to would-be party defectors who wish to join him.

The message that ex-Die Linke representatives would be welcome within the SPD was repeated by other members of the party.

“There are some good people in the left-wing faction who would also fit well into the SPD faction,” Sebastian Roloff MP remarked, adding that such individuals “are welcome to come” and join his party.

Others were keen to add caveats to the offer, with Philipp Türmer – a senior member of the SPD youth wing – saying anyone who supported the idea of a strong German state need not apply.

That jab was openly targeted at the supporters of Sahra Wagenknecht, Die Linke’s most prominent politician, whose right-leaning views on social issues have torn the Socialist party asunder.

“Sensible members of the Left Party, not the nationalist people from the Wagenknecht camp, are cordially invited to join in,” Türmer said.

Even without such an explicit rejection, those backing Wagenknecht would be unlikely to take up an offer to join the SPD.

Instead, they are more likely to follow the left-wing firebrand to her own new party, with numerous German outlets reporting on October 19 that she had already registered the new organisation with the German Government.

Being the subject of intense speculation for months, Wagneknecht is expected to announce the BSW – For Reason and Justice party – in the coming days.

The new party could be the last nail in the coffin for the floundering Die Linke, with the BSW also likely to pose a threat to the right-wing AfD. Both occupy anti-establishment positions on migration and the European Union.