• Germany's news in English
 

'This is Rösler's chance to resign with dignity'

Published: 21 Jan 2013 11:08 GMT+01:00

A surprise result saw Phillip Rösler's Free Democrats (FDP) rise from the dead to defy predictions they would fail to clear the five percent parliamentary representation hurdle, grabbing thousands of conservative votes to reach nearly ten percent.

But David McAllister's Christian Democrats dropped several points to end on 36 percent, meaning he and the FDP failed by one seat to remain in office.

Stephan Weil's Social Democrats, who in combination with the Greens will now form the next Lower Saxony state government, will be desperate to convert this into national momentum ahead of September's election.

The Münchner Merkur compared the FDP with a rescued bank. "The FDP is system-relevant for the capability of the middle-class camp to create a majority, and those who are relevant to the system will be rescued at any cost. It cost the CDU in Lower Saxony nearly a fifth of their votes and the post-election shock is not going to be small.

"If FDP leader Rösler has retained even a little sense of reality, he will see that this borrowed strength cannot replace policy-based powers of conviction. He should use this success to resign with dignity.

"There will be no better opportunity. To continue to muddle along as before and to depend on borrowed votes from the union would be to fundamentally misunderstand the Hannover signals. The FDP lives dangerously as a zombie party dependant on Merkel's mercy."

The Leipziger Volkszeitung was similarly harsh about Rösler's future prospects. "The FDP portrays itself as victor within the black-yellow camp. But why? The party is perhaps just a facade with a chairman who, until yesterday, most of his own people no longer wanted to see. What kind of political victory logic is that? Rösler can continue because the CDU clicked their fingers and promptly a lot of their regular voters put their cross by the Liberals rather than the Christian Democrats.

"Politics becomes discounted sales goods. Together the Union and FPD got 45 to 46 percent. That is only enough to get power in exceptional cases. The Union leadership under Angela Merkel has not, in the last few years, managed to claim additional regions. That will be felt at some point."

The Frankfurter Rundschau said, "As in 2012 in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, those who still see the FDP as a liberal party, and the borrowed support from many CDU voters made for a sensational comeback.

"Philipp Rösler proved himself as a man with nerves of steel and capable of getting up off the floor, and will continue to lead his comeback party. The smiles on the men who wanted to chase out Rösler as they got rid of Guido Westerwelle before him seemed to lose their shine on voting day."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück would suffer as a result of the outcome, even though his party will lead the new Lower Saxony government.

"The crowning of Steinbrück as chancellor candidate not only failed to give the election campaign a boost - he hangs around the neck of the SPD like a millstone, and that at a time in which the national political mood is more favourable to Chancellor Merkel and the Union parties than it has been for years.

"At the same time many potential CDU voters have understood what the failure of the FDP to clear the five percent parliamentary representation hurdle would mean for the chances of the CDU holding onto power in Hannover - and the swap of votes within this camp was the result."

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Poland bridles at German minimum wage
Photo: DPA

Poland bridles at German minimum wage

Germany's newly-introduced €8.50 minimum wage is raising hackles at Polish trucking companies, who say they shouldn't have to pay their drivers at that rate for the hours they spend on their western neighbour's roads. READ  

Life sentences meted out in murder-for-hire
A man photographs an appeal for witnesses in the death of Christin R. in 2012. Photo: DPA

Life sentences meted out in murder-for-hire

A Berlin judge on Thursday sentenced four people to life sentences in a sordid conspiracy murder case in which a pizza delivery driver was paid €500 to kill a young woman for her life insurance. READ  

Jobless numbers rise to top 3 million
Men at work. Photo: DPA

Jobless numbers rise to top 3 million

German jobless numbers rose this month, bringing unemployment up to seven percent, the Federal Labour Agency (BA) reported on Thursday. READ  

Frankfurt man loses airport job over Isis links
Security checks at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Frankfurt man loses airport job over Isis links

In a decision announced on Wednesday, a Frankfurt court upheld the dismissal of a man from his job at Frankfurt airport over his close friendship with a foreign citizen with ties to terrorist group Isis. READ  

Cologne Karneval scraps Charlie Hebdo float
Image courtesy Festkomittee Kölner Karneval

Cologne Karneval scraps Charlie Hebdo float

Cologne's planned Charlie Hebdo float in its Rosenmontag parade was a false start, after the organising committee scrapped its construction over security concerns. READ  

Overnight raids bust up smugglers ring
File photo: DPA

Overnight raids bust up smugglers ring

Federal police arrested 12 people on Wednesday night after a national raid by police broke apart a smuggling ring. READ  

Anti-euro AfD split over Pegida ties
Former Pegida spokesperson Kathrin Oertel and Brandenburg head of AfD Alexander Gauland. Photo: DPA

Anti-euro AfD split over Pegida ties

Germany's upstart anti-euro AfD party will seek to mend a rift among members on whether to forge close ties with an emergent "anti-Islamisation" movement at a congress this weekend. READ  

Court grants kids right to know donor fathers
Photo: DPA

Court grants kids right to know donor fathers

The Supreme Court (BGH) decided on Wednesday that the children of sperm donors have a right to know who their biological father is at any time. READ  

Russia may declare 1990 reunification illegal
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: DPA

Russia may declare 1990 reunification illegal

More than 25 years after the Berlin Wall's fall, Russian lawmakers are mulling a proposal to condemn West Germany's 1990 "annexation" of East Germany as Moscow's answer to Western denunciation of its seizure of Crimea. READ  

No room for scooters on the bus: Court
Photo: DPA

No room for scooters on the bus: Court

A court in North-Rhine Westphalia found on Wednesday that there is no obligation for buses or trains to make room for mobility scooters - and that it's actually dangerous to bring them aboard. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,448
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd