Lower Saxony's interior minister Pistorius becomes the new defense minister

Status: 01/17/2023 11:04 a.m

Lower Saxony’s interior minister Boris Pistorius will become the new federal defense minister. That experienced that ARD Capital Studio. The SPD politician succeeds Christine Lambrecht.

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) should, according to information from ARD Capital Studios become the new Federal Defense Minister. He is the successor to the resigned SPD politician Christine Lambrecht. The defense minister, who had been criticized for months, wrote on Monday morning that she had asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz to be dismissed. The chancellor wants to officially announce the successor today.

Pistorius has been Lower Saxony’s Minister of the Interior and Sport since 2013, and his third term of office began a few months ago. Before that he was mayor of Osnabrück from 2006 to 2013. Even though he always stayed in Lower Saxony, he was also involved in the internal political positioning of the federal SPD in election campaigns and in coalition negotiations.

Well connected in the SPD

The 62-year-old lawyer is considered to be well connected in the SPD and a minister for the difficult job of defense minister. In the past few years, Pistorius has gained a reputation as a knowledgeable specialist politician among the interior ministers of the federal and state governments.

He was repeatedly said to have ambitions for political office at the federal level. For example, there were rumors that he could become federal interior minister if Nancy Faeser ran as the top candidate for the SPD in the state elections in Hesse.

Lindner congratulates his “new cabinet colleague”

Finance Minister Christian Lindner congratulated Pistorius on his new position. In a tweet, the FDP leader spoke of his “new cabinet colleague Boris Pistorius”. “A major task lies ahead of us, especially with the implementation of the special fund,” he wrote. He is looking forward to good cooperation between the finance and defense ministries.

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Criticism of the decision comes from the Union. “The Chancellor is showing that he doesn’t take his own turning point seriously,” said the deputy chairman of the Union faction, Johann Wadephul. “Again, expertise and experience with the Bundeswehr play no role,” he criticized. The personnel is a “cast from the B team”. With that, Chancellor Scholz “had a real surprise. Unfortunately, not a good one.”

According to the CDU politician, moving the Bundeswehr forward requires not only money, but also expertise. “Given the situation, Boris Pistorius will not be able to have 100 days of training,” emphasized Wadephul. Wadephul announced that the CDU/CSU parliamentary group was offering to work with the new minister, but would follow his work critically.

Thursday first meeting with US colleague

Pistorius is now facing a cold start in the ministry, and he has to welcome US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Berlin on Thursday.

With a man succeeding Lambrecht, the parity in the federal cabinet that Scholz was actually aiming for is thrown off balance. So far, eight men and eight women have held ministerial posts; now, without further changes, the ratio would shift to nine men and seven women.

In the past few days, several other names have been named as possible successors to Lambrecht, including Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil and military commissioner Eva Högl.



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