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Controversial German leftist Wagenknecht announces new party, slamming the government as the “worst ever”

Sahra Wagenknecht gained increased public prominence in 2022 as leader of a “peace campaign” demanding the West stop providing arms to Ukraine, and opposed sanctions against Russia
Sahra Wagenknecht. Credit: DW
Controversial German leftist Wagenknecht announces new party, slamming the government as the “worst ever”

On 23 October, the Left Party’s Sahra Wagenknecht, one of Germany’s most controversial politicians, announced plans to form a new party, DW reported.

At a press conference in Berlin, she also announced the foundation of an association named Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht (“Sahra Wagenknecht alliance”), to collect donations and prepare the ground for the new party.

In addition, she said that in creating the party, her main target was the German government, which she called “possibly the worst government” the federal republic had ever had. According to Sahra, the new party aims to provide a “social and peace policy choice” for dissatisfied voters who may otherwise drift toward the AfD.

“Many people rightly feel that the government is not making policies for working people: everything is getting more and more expensive, war and sanctions policies have fueled inflation, and public infrastructure is in terrible shape,” said Christian Leye, a Left Party defector joining Wagenknecht’s alliance.

Wagenknecht has grown increasingly popular, especially in eastern Germany, due to her unique political positioning. She takes leftist stances on economic issues but more conservative views on topics like immigration and gender diversity. This has appealed to working-class voters dissatisfied with the political status quo.

Analysts have already been mapping out that Wagenknecht’s alliance could pose a particular threat to the AfD in eastern Germany, where she polls well (AfD – Alternative for Germany – is a nationalist and right-wing populist political party in Germany. The party’s main ideology is against European integration and against foreign immigration. The party was founded on February 6, 2013, in the wake of the Euro crisis as a party of Eurocritics). Analysts also said that she offers a novel combination of conservative social values and socialist economics never before seen in a German party. Her success or failure in upcoming state elections could significantly impact the country’s political future.

Wagenknecht broke from the Left Party she belonged to for decades to form the new alliance. The Left Party has said it will expel politicians joining her group.

Sahra Wagenknecht and Ukraine

The DW reported that Sahra Wagenknecht of the Left Party has opposed German arms exports to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, in which she does share policies with the AfD. However, during the conference, Wagenknecht stated she would not collaborate with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

She also accused the German media of labelling her “pro-Putin” or “pro-Russian” for calling for a diplomatic solution to end the war in Ukraine.

According to the DW, in a regular on German political talk shows, Wagenknecht gained increased public prominence in 2022 as leader of a “peace campaign” demanding the West stop providing arms to Ukraine.

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