• 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
German kids 'growing up sitting down'
Photo: DPA

German kids 'growing up sitting down'

Too much sitting is bad for you, as we all know. But health experts warned on Monday that half of German children have firmly adopted the sedentary and damaging habits of their parents. READ  

Business makes confident start to 2015
A worker checks compensators in a Baden-Württemberg factory. Photo: DPA

Business makes confident start to 2015

German businesses are confident about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, a new poll showed on Monday, as a weaker euro and falling oil prices are set to boost the country's exporters. READ  

'Stick to the plan': Germany to Greece
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras celebrates the party's election victory on Sunday. Photo: DPA

'Stick to the plan': Germany to Greece

UPDATE:German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects the new Greek government to uphold its commitments to international creditors, her spokesman said Monday after the electoral triumph of Greece's anti-austerity leftists Syriza. READ  

Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official
Monika Herrmann attempts to mediate in a refugee dispute in 2014. Photo: DPA

Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official

Amid rising tensions around the Pegida movement, a Berlin official stirred alarm on Monday with a proposal to commandeer private holiday apartments to house asylum seekers. READ  

Parties welcome Gabriel's Pegida meeting
Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel in Dresden on Friday. Photo: DPA

Parties welcome Gabriel's Pegida meeting

Politicians welcomed Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel's controversial decision to meet members of anti-Islam movement Pegida on Friday. READ  

Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn
Hopefully there won't be any roadworks on the test stretch. Photo: DPA

Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn

A section of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria will be converted into a test route for self-driving cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday. READ  

 Deutsche Bahn wins allies in air cartel suit
Deutsche Bahn's HQ in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Photo: Volker Emersleben/DB

Deutsche Bahn wins allies in air cartel suit

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said Sunday it has been joined by several companies in a 2.9 €billion euro lawsuit against Lufthansa and other airlines for fixing air cargo prices. READ  

Merkel phones Putin over Ukraine violence
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: DPA

Merkel phones Putin over Ukraine violence

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Sunday to "put pressure" on Ukraine's pro-Kremlin separatists to end a recent upsurge in violence. READ  

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000  people
The Pegida demonstration in Dresden on Sunday. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000 people

Thousands of people joined a march by the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, the group's first rally since threats surfaced against the group and its leader resigned over "Hitler" photos. READ  

Anti-Muslim rallies 'hurt Germany's image'
Police prepare for the demonstration on Sunday on Dresden's Theaterplatz. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

Anti-Muslim rallies 'hurt Germany's image'

Hours before a new rally in Dresden by the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the group's sentiments were harming the nation's image. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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

1,426
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd