• Germany's news in English
 

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

The Local · 21 Jan 2013, 11:08

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
The photojournalist making news intimate
World Press Photo winner Mads Nissen. Photo: DPA

The photojournalist making news intimate

7 hours ago

Photographer Mads Nissen’s World Press Photo of the Year is currently touring Germany and the world. It’s a provocative image of two Russian gay men and one that some say is changing the definition of photojournalism.

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin
ISTAF is held annually in Berlin. File Photo: DPA

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin

7 hours ago

six world champions, freshly crowned from Beijing, will be gracing Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday in the annual ISTAF track-and-field meet.

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria
Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. File Photo: DPA

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria

7 hours ago

From 30C to snow in under a week? It's possible in Germany where seven centimetres of the white stuff fell at the top of the Bavarian Alps on Friday.

Oktoberfest and the Refugee Crisis
Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart
Police and refugees at Munich Central Station. Photo: DPA

Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart

7 hours ago

Police in Munich are preparing a significant operation to ensure that drunken revelers at Oktoberfest are kept away from refugees arriving at the city's central station from Budapest.

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase
Photo: DPA

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase

11 hours ago

With 21 police cars and a helicopter hot on his heels, it seemed unlikely that police in Düsseldorf would fail to catch one rogue motorist. But after a two-hour pursuit, that's exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday.

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?
The Greek debt crisis has been haunting German dreams. Source: Wikipedia

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?

1 day ago

Having to cough up for the excesses of spendthrift southern Europeans is the fear most likely to haunt German nightmares in 2015. But getting caught up in a natural disaster isn't far behind, an annual survey shows.

This Week in History
The death of a great humanitarian
Schweitzer spent most of his later years at Lambaréné. Photo: DPA

The death of a great humanitarian

1 day ago

On September 4th 1965, the world lost one of its most dedicated and tireless humanitarians, as Albert Schweitzer died in the African hospital he had created and cherished for over 50 years. A hospital that continues to save lives today.

Refugee crisis
Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1
Die Ärzte singer and drummer Bela B. with a DVD titled "not interested in Nazis" in 2009. Photo: DPA

Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1

12 hours ago

Under the banner of "Arsehole Action", activists campaigning against xenophobia and hatred of refugees have pushed a 1993 hit by punk band Die Ärzte mocking the far right to the top of Germany's charts.

Refugee Crisis
Orban: Muslims threaten European identity
Viktor Orban, guardian of Europe? Photo: DPA

Orban: Muslims threaten European identity

14 hours ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Thursday that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent's Christian roots - an idea rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare
Football fans set of a flare. File Photo: DPA

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare

14 hours ago

Germany is continuing its zero tolerance approach to football supporters lighting flares in Bundesliga grounds after a Schalke supporter was jailed for 18 months on Thursday with no parole.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
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

6,971
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd