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Love Parade disaster city votes out mayor

The Local · 13 Feb 2012, 08:04

Published: 13 Feb 2012 08:04 GMT+01:00

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Adolf Sauerland has consistently refused to resign and denied any responsibility for the 2010 disaster despite accusations of having ignored repeated warnings about the safety of the plans.

He was so unpopular in Duisburg afterwards, that relatives of those who died said he was not welcome at memorial services, and he has been pelted with food and ketchup when out in public.

Those wanting to see him kicked out of office before he was due to leave in 2015 made an enormous effort to gather 80,000 signatures to force the referendum which was held on Sunday.

Figures released in the evening showed 129,833 people voted for the controversial conservative mayor to step down, while 21,557 wanted to keep him. The law says 25 percent of those entitled to vote would be needed to dismiss him – in the event 35.5 percent of those entitled to, voted him out.

Sauerland, a member of the Christian Democratic Union, said he was surprised by the result, and said he would clear his desk by Wednesday.

“This is a good day for democracy,” said North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Ralf Jäger of the Social Democrats.

A new election in the city must be held within the next six months.

The Love Parade held in Duisburg in July 2010 had been promoted as a sign of the region’s economic recovery and increasing cultural significance within Germany. But it ended in disaster after people trying to enter the main party area collided with those trying to leave and a crush led to panic in which 21 people were killed and more than 500 injured.

Story continues below…

Investigations are still ongoing into the cause, and although city employees are being examined, Sauerland is not. He is under investigation for alleged corruption in another matter.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 February 13, 2012 by Wrench
So, the mayor went down to the love parade and caused thousands of idiots to crush one another. People in a crowd are stupid cattle. The fingers should be pointing to the throngs of jackasses who attended.
11:21 February 13, 2012 by zeddriver

With the modern era of the nanny state. We have handed over so many aspects of our lives to the "state" that when something goes wrong it must therefore be the fault of those I elected to save me from my self.
11:24 February 13, 2012 by raandy
What a fake picture.
11:40 February 13, 2012 by bobmarchiano
The Mayor was not at fault the organizers, security and the people who attended are the guilty ones. And the courts will is it this way when

the Mayor sues HINT
12:04 February 13, 2012 by freechoice
what is love? baby don't hurt me, no more!
12:35 February 13, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ Wrench

The mayor liability resides in his responsibilities of his office. It was the city officials who unlawfully granted the permit for the parade, in spite of lax security measures. And the mayor admitted his guilt: 'As mayor I bear the moral responsibility... It is my personal need to apologize to all victims and survivors.'
19:32 February 13, 2012 by Englishted
A few (a lot or all ) should have a sign on their desk as did Harry S. Truman,

stating :

The Buck Stops Here.

The they would not need to be voted out but would do the right thing and resign .
08:22 February 14, 2012 by McM
Well at least the mayor accepted moral responsibility and apologized to the survivors. I haven't heard too many apologies or acceptance of moral responsibility from the crowd that sadly started the riot and trampled their fellow love parade rioters to death, merely an urge to blame everyone and every thing else but their own bad behavior. Classic case of the transference of guilt to others. I think it is all very sad and the Mayor certainly did not make it any better but there are quite a few others that may want to also fall on their moral swords if they had any courage.

I find mob riots and panic a very disturbing human trait . The search for a scape goat to purify the troubled souls is natural knee jerk reaction but it does not address the root cause ,namely our weakness in crowd situations and the tenancy to loose control. Better event management is helpful and sadly we have all learned from this tragedy.
12:24 February 19, 2012 by blueflag

You come across as an insensitive, ill informed troll.

I sincerely hop that is not the case - if only for the benefit of the people you interact with outside of cyber world.
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