Berlin set to welcome its first female mayor
Germany’s SPD party had reason to celebrate on Monday, as provisional results revealed the Social Democrats had come out on top, not just in the nationwide federal election, but also in the city-state of Berlin.
SPD scores election victory in Berlin
The SPD has cemented a narrow victory in the Berlin election, according to provisional results shown on Monday. Franziska Giffey, the SPD’s candidate for the capital’s mayor, won 21,4 percent of the vote, beating Bettina Jarasch of the Greens (18,9 percent) and the CDU’s Kai Wenger (18,1 percent) in what was an election of fine margins.
Giffey is set to become Berlin’s first female mayor. She has since told reporters that she would be talking to both the Greens and the CDU about possible coalition opportunities, and that she aimed "to get as much of the SPD's program into the coalition negotiations as possible." Currently, a coalition between the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke govern Berlin.
If Giffey proves successful, Berlin would be the third German state to have a woman in charge, Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern being the other two. The two states are also run by SPD premiers.
SPD re-elected in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
The state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern also elected a new state premier on Sunday; Manuela Schwesig of the SPD was re-elected in a decisive victory. The SPD won 39,6 percent of the vote in the northeastern state, with the AfD coming in second (16,7 percent). Schwesig has been state premier for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since 2017, the first woman to hold the position. "This evening belongs to the women. The women who, well over a hundred years before us, ensured that we had the right to vote and that we could stand for election. Who are still fighting today to ensure that we are democratically involved," she said on Twitter.
The SPD has had a hold over the position of state premier in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since 1998. The party is currently in a coalition with the CDU in the state, but the CDU polled at its lowest ever level with just 13,3 percent of the vote. There is speculation as to whether the SPD will renew its partnership with the CDU since, with a direct mandate, the party now has several options for forming a coalition.
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