State elections in Hesse: Greens jog towards the State Chancellery

State elections in Hesse: Greens jog towards the State Chancellery

Tarek Al-Wazir wants to become the first green prime minister in Hesse. But nine years of government with the Union does not please everyone.

Hesse's Greens top candidate Tarek Al-Wazir holds up a pair of green sneakers at the party conference.

Tarek Al-Wazir at the party conference: For Hesse’s Greens, power and sneakers still belong together today Photo: Thomas Frey/dpa

WETZLAR taz | The spacious stage of the Buderus Forum is bathed in green light. More than 1,000 members made the pilgrimage to the state assembly of the Hessian Greens in Wetzlar. In the state elections on October 8, the party wants become the strongest party for the first time. This time they have even nominated a candidate for the post of prime minister in Economy Minister Tarek Al-Wazir.

The assembly celebrates the start of the “three-way battle for the Hessian State Chancellery” with standing ovations. There are only two votes against and a few abstentions. And “Tarek” gets a pair of green sneakers to take with him: “For his swearing-in as prime minister on January 18th”.

The sneakers stand as a symbol for the march of the still young party through the institutions. In 1985, Joschka Fischer was the first Green Minister to take the oath of office in the Hessian state parliament in white sneakers – Al-Wazir is said to be the first Hessian head of government to continue this success story.

“We can be proud, Hesse has become greener and fairer!” Al-Wazir, acting deputy leader of the black-green government coalition, sums up the nine years as a junior partner of the CDU. During this time, however, limits were repeatedly reached, explains Minister of Science Angela Dorn – and thus also justifies the new claim to the leadership role. “It makes a difference who is at the top,” she assures, and recommends Al-Wazir, the “Offenbach boy with Yemeni roots,” as the future prime minister.

Campaign candidacy against Al-Wazir

But nine years of government routine in Wiesbaden and now also in the Berlin traffic light are demanding their price. The acclaimed candidate Al-Wazir, formally behind Dorn in second place on the national list because of the women’s status, is also facing headwinds.

This can be seen in the form of a candidacy for the retired teacher Joachim Mietusch. The many compromises made by the Greens in the government made him “sad and angry”, says Mietusch, who calls himself a “root green”. In view of the climate catastrophe, it is important to save the basis of life.

“Physics knows no compromises,” he warns. He accuses the green “Realos” of sticking to their posts while at the same time having trees cut down for roads. Of course, Mietusch has no chance against the hopeful. But at least he gets 71 votes, that’s 7.5 percent.

On the other hand, Eva Goldbach, the spokeswoman for domestic affairs and deputy chairwoman of the parliamentary group, gets a clearer reward for dealing with the coalition partner CDU, which many experience as a “cosy course”. In her candidacy for 5th place in the state list, she falls through. Only late in the evening, after a dozen lost ballots, did she finally end up as number 25 on the list.

Too good friends

This space should also be sufficient for entry into the next state parliament. But the grass roots apparently blame the interior politician for her overly smooth dealings with the CDU state interior minister Peter Beuth.

The right-wing machinations in the Hessian policethe Minister’s dealings with the victims and relatives of the racial attack in Hanauhis lack of enlightenment after the Murder of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke (CDU) – in the eyes of her internal party critics, Goldbach did not provide the necessary distance to Beuth’s mistakes.

Her parliamentary colleague Katy Walther proved that there is another way. As a spokeswoman for transport policy, she had a similarly difficult task: it was up to her to explain why the Greens consider the motorway projects on the A49 and the Riedberg tunnel in Frankfurt to be insane, but the Green State Transport Minister does had trees felled under police protection.

As a parliamentary observer, she was with the Clearing of the Dannenröder forest or in the Fechenheim forest on site. “We couldn’t prevent the cursed autobahn,” she says soberly, and at the same time campaigns for new majorities in Wiesbaden and Berlin: “Such “mad projects” should be deleted from the federal traffic route plan, Walther demands. Five years ago, she slipped through one of the last places in the state parliament. This time she manages fifth place right away.

Well-groomed bourgeois image

For the next legislative period, the Greens in Hesse promise a decisive attempt to transform the state and its economy. “Climate protection is a top priority in the State Chancellery,” said the embassy.

According to Al-Wazir, the political competition is trying to downplay the task. “Everything stays the way it is,” this slogan is just as deceptive as: “We’ll make sure you don’t notice anything.” Al-Wazir admits that there will be one or two impertinences. But as Prime Minister he will “hold our country together in this process of change”.

Tarek Al-Wazir (Greens)

“I’m not the Kreuzberg type, but rather the semi-detached type”

Al-Wazir isn’t the revolutionary: He’s “not the Kreuzberg type, but rather the semi-detached type,” he says. After being sworn in as prime minister, he wants to return to black business shoes. If everything goes according to plan, the green sneakers should go to the Offenbach Leather Museum. There are also “Joschka’s” white shoes from back then on display.

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