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06 Aug 2021, 13:21
Charlotte Nijhuis

Green Party list in small state of Saarland excluded from ballot during German election

Tagesschau

The regional list of Germany’s Green Party will be excluded from the ballot in the state of Saarland during the national election, the federal election committee announced on 5 August, Tagesschau reports. The decision follows an internal dispute over the party’s candidate list. The selection of the Saarland Greens’ lead candidate Hubert Ulrich was declared invalid because non-voting members had also cast their votes. The state arbitration tribunal also found violations of the party’s women’s statute, because the party usually reserves the first place on the list for a woman. This led to the internal vote for the candidates list being repeated, but this time about one third of all voting delegates were excluded after a party court found irregularities in the election of delegates in the local Green Party group in Saarlouis. Both the state election committee and the federal election committee found it to be in breach with democratic principles to conduct the vote after excluding so many delegates.

The Greens could lose tens of thousands of potential votes in the September federal election as a result of the exclusion, writes Tagesschau. In the 2017 election, however, the Saarland Greens had contributed less than 0.1 percentage points to the nationwide result of 8.9 percent, the broadcaster adds.

“We regret the election committee’s decision. It is particularly bitter for the people in Saarland who would have liked to vote for the regional Green list,” Michael Kellner, the Greens’ political manager, said in a statement. "I am disappointed with the result," said Green politician Lisa Becker. "At this point, there's nothing we can do. That's just the way it is now."

German voters will head to the polls on 26 September. According to recent polls, the conservative CDU/CSU is leading the polls with about 27 percent of the vote. The Greens and the social democratic party SPD are head-to-head, each taking around 18 percent of the vote.  

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