• 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
Germanwings tragedy
Germany learns lessons on pilots’ mental health
Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt (left) and aviation safety task force leader Matthias von Randow. Photo: DPA:

Germany learns lessons on pilots’ mental health

In response to the Germanwings flight tragedy, Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt presented plans to strengthen mental health care for pilots while Germanwings announced further compensation for relatives of the flight's victims. READ  

Germany: land of cheap beer and drunkards?
Getting müllered? Football star Thomas Müller enjoys a Mass. Photo: DPA

Germany: land of cheap beer and drunkards?

It's official. If getting drunk on a park bench is your thing, look no further than Germany as an ideal location. A study released on Monday shows it's cheap. And you'll have plenty of company. READ  

Greece crisis
Schäuble: Greece will stay in Euro regardless
People demonstrate in favour of a 'no' vote in Greece's Sunday referendum on Monday night. Photo: DPA

Schäuble: Greece will stay in Euro regardless

UPDATE: Speaking to MPs from his Christian Democratic Union (CDU) on Tuesday, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that Greece will stay in the eurozone even if the Greek public vote 'no' on July 5th. READ  

Fare-dodging fine jumps from €40 to €60
Photo: DPA.

Fare-dodging fine jumps from €40 to €60

Nationwide fines for people who ride public transit without a proper ticket will increase from €40 to €60 starting on Wednesday in some cities, the first time the penalty has been increased in 12 years. READ  

Far-right attacks on asylum homes soar
A sign reading "stop Nazis" hangs from a lamppost. Photo: DPA

Far-right attacks on asylum homes soar

The number of attacks on asylum seekers' accommodation by violent far-right groups in Germany is on course to double in 2015 after tripling between 2013 and 2014, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. READ  

How Germany will deal with the leap second
A scientist works with an atomic clock at the Federal Physics-Technology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig. Photo: DPA

How Germany will deal with the leap second

Germany's top time scientists are ready to spring into action in the dead of night on Tuesday, inserting an extra second into the clock while everyone else is asleep. READ  

German unemployment hits historic low
Photo: DPA

German unemployment hits historic low

German unemployment remained at historically low levels in June as the recovery in Europe's biggest economy remained on track, data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Greece crisis
Germany's Greeks look anxiously homeward
Antonius Chantzaras in his kiosk. Photo: DPA

Germany's Greeks look anxiously homeward

As crisis engulfs their homeland, members of the Greek community in Germany look anxiously homeward and reflect on how the crisis is already traveling back to Germany. READ  

Women's World Cup
Semi-final clash with US 'like a final'
Germany coach Silvia Neid. Photo: DPA

Semi-final clash with US 'like a final'

Ahead of Tuesday's semi-final clash against the Unites States in the Women's World Cup, Germany coach Silvia Neid warned that her team would not be relinquishing their status as the world's number one team yet. READ  

Germanwings co-pilot buried in silence
A man walks past a makeshift memorial to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 victims in Düsseldorf airport. Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot buried in silence

As the co-pilot who steered Germanwings flight 4U9525 into the French Alps in March was buried on Monday, the authorities prepared to unveil the first steps they will take to improve air safety. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
Politics
Follow our LIVE blog as Europe holds breath over Greece crisis
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Culture
What's top of the charts in June
Gallery
Germany's most beautiful cycle routes
Business & Money
The business case for Britain in the EU
Rhineland
Why farmers are free to pong up the countryside
National
German restaurants among world's best
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

6,736
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd