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Because wants to remain prime minister: Lower Saxony votes – and the SPD hopes

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Storm-proof and down-to-earth, that’s the people of Lower Saxony – no Lower Saxony if you don’t know this song. It shows pride and aspirations, the song, and it also shapes politics. Elections will be held in this state next Sunday. It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most important nationwide and the most important for the SPD.

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Lower Saxony is a large area and, like Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, has six votes in the Bundesrat; small countries, city-states like Bremen or Saarland, have three. That ensures attention and influence.

Politicians from Lower Saxony: still on everyone’s lips today

Then: the political personnel. Names that are known to this day, sometimes even on everyone’s lips: Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), formerly state minister, then three times federal minister, now EU Commission President; her father Ernst Albrecht, long Prime Minister; Christian Wulff, former Prime Minister and Federal President. Or Philipp Rösler, the free democrat who was state minister, federal minister and FDP federal leader; and Jürgen Trittin as state minister – the first red-green government -, parliamentary group leader and top candidate.

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And a few more names that were or are particularly important for the SPD: Sigmar Gabriel as prime minister and multiple federal minister, SPD chairman as well. His predecessor in the country, Gerhard Schröder, who brought Frank-Walter Steinmeier into the federal government, who in turn is the Federal President today; or the chairmen of the SPD parliamentary group Peter Struck and Thomas Oppermann; the party chairman Lars Klingbeil, the Federal Minister responsible for labor and social affairs Hubertus Heil.

Lower Saxony was a pioneer of red-green in the federal government

Speaking of red-green: This state government in 1990 paved the way for the red-green federal government in 1998, and it helped that Schröder knew Trittin from Hanover and was able to work with him. The phasing out of nuclear energy at that time – the first – was planned there, by the Greens, but also by the SPD. And this exit was set in motion by Trittin as Federal Minister for the Environment. Now the Greens are fighting for the continued existence of the second.

Lower Saxony is currently the only six-vote federal state to be led by a prime minister from the SPD. His name is Stephan Weil. The 63-year-old was mayor of Hanover until 2013, since then he has been prime minister and wants to remain so. And nothing will go beyond what you can always think of in Lower Saxony. Because, however, is overgrown.

It looks as if his CDU counter-candidate Bernd Althusmann, still Weil’s coalition partner, will have to put up with it. At least if the voters do not want to punish the traffic light coalition in Berlin, especially the SPD. Which is run by a native of Lower Saxony, Olaf Scholz from Osnabrück.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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