So far, the left has deterred possible coalition partners with maximum demands on NATO. Now the party apparently wants to present an immediate program – in which NATO no longer appears.

The Left Party is going on the offensive: With an immediate program, it wants to recommend itself to the SPD and the Greens as coalition partners. As the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” reports, the party wants to present its plans on Monday, some of which deviate from the party program. The paper is available to the newspaper and also to the “Spiegel”. This is supposed to be a kind of government program that provides clues for possible coalition negotiations, reports the “FAS”. According to this, negotiators are already being sought within the party.

The most important points in the program: increase pensions and minimum wages, abolish Hartz IV and introduce a nationwide rent cap. Another central point is not taken up in the paper. Although it says there that the left wants to end foreign missions and stop arms exports, the dissolution of NATO does not occur, according to the “FAS”. The election manifesto states: “We are calling for the dissolution of NATO and its replacement by a collective security system involving Russia, which has disarmament as a central goal.”

“Now it’s getting serious”

It is “the first time in the history of the party” that the left is preparing so seriously for explorations, said party leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow of the “FAS”. The paper should send the message to the outside world: “We have a plan, we know how to do it, we are prepared and you can count on us.” And in the party: “Now it’s getting serious. But you don’t have to worry, we have that under control.”

The SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz had not recently ruled out an alliance with the left. But he had drawn a red line in relation to the role of NATO: “Every government in Germany must be very clear about the transatlantic partnership, membership in NATO and a strong and sovereign European Union.” That is essential for him.

Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock also distanced herself from the Left Party. The Left “sidelined when it wasn’t even ready to support the Bundeswehr in rescuing German nationals and local workers from Afghanistan,” she told the newspapers of the Funke media group last week. However, a joint government with the Left Party did not fundamentally rule them out either. In a democracy, all democratic parties should be able to speak.

Hennig-Wellsow believes in support from the SPD and the Greens

The immediate program acts at least as a reaction to it. Federal board member of the Left, Maja Tegeler, said of the “FAS”: “If we do not agree on the maximum demand to leave NATO, but at least make a realignment in foreign policy and cut arms spending significantly, then I see good opportunities.”

In addition, the party is convinced that there is also a lot of support for a possible red-green-red coalition in the SPD and the Greens. “I’m not sure whether Scholz and Baerbock are interested in governing with the left. But I know both of them that the shop behind them already wants,” said Hennig-Wellsow. The parliamentary group leader Amira Mohamed Ali also told the newspaper: “As far as I know, a relevant part of the SPD parliamentary group is very open to red-green-red”.

Korte: You’re back in the game

Union politicians, including Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, had recently repeatedly warned against a “left slide”. This did not meet with anger on the left, but with gratitude. The CDU and CSU had taken the “Red Socks Campaign” back out of the moth box, “which I very much welcome,” said the parliamentary manager of the parliamentary group, Jan Korte. This leads to people talking about the left and the content. You are back in the game.

Until a few days ago, the left played a subordinate role in the election campaign. In surveys, they have long been between six and eight percent – below their result in the previous 2017 election and close to the five percent limit. The SPD is currently between 23 and 25 percent, the Greens between 15 and 19. A majority for red-red-green could therefore be mathematically possible.