The star of Germany’s left-most parliamentary party has quit to set up her own populist formation, based on scepticism on both green issues and on support for Ukraine, that polls suggest could capture up to 20% of the vote.
Sahra Wagenknecht, who grew up in East Germany as the daughter of a German mother and an absent Iranian father, told reporters on Monday she would aim to win over disgruntled voters of left and right.
“Many no longer know who to vote for or vote for the right out of rage and despair,” she said. “It can’t go on like this. Otherwise we probably won’t recognise our own country in ten years’ time.”
With Germany’s economy battered by high energy prices and inflation, low support for the parties of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s centre-left coalition is undermining the conservative Christian Democrats, creating opportunities for populists.
“At a time of crisis…. Left legislators should concentrate on doing their job,” said Left party leader Janine Wissler. “And that is left-wing opposition and not the ego trip of founding a new party.”
That fragmentation has let the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party come second in several recent elections – drawing on a pool of voters the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance could also tap.
“I was described as close to Putin or pro-Russian for wanting a negotiated solution in Ukraine,” she said. “It’s your legitimate right not to like us or not share our positions. But … don’t take the cheap route of ascribing to us things we don’t represent.”
Source : Reuters