In Brief: Backed by the CDU and AfD, FDP politician wins election in Thuringia

Bolstered by support from the Christian Democrats and far-right AfD party, FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich narrowly won the election for minister president with 45 votes, ousting incumbent from die Linke, Bodo Ramelow.

Photo © Volker Hielscher

 

 

On Wednesday in Thuringia, the results of the election for minister president sent a wave of shock through the state parliament and country.

In the third round of voting, pro-business FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich narrowly won with 45 votes, bolstered by support from both the Christian Democrats and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Many assumed the incumbent Bodo Ramelow from die Linke would be re-elected as minister president, even though his Red-Red-Green coalition didn’t have a majority.

The Federal Chairman of the FDP, Christian Lindner, said as long as he is head of the Free Democrats, he will not tolerate his party working with the AfD – and he emphasized that Kemmerich shared this belief.

Lindner called on the CDU, SPD, and Greens to answer Kemmerich’s offer to talk about a potential coalition. Lindner added, if those three parties refuse to cooperate, then new elections would be necessary in Thuringia.

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A report from Der Tagesspiegel revealed on Wednesday that the BVG ride-sharing service, BerlKönig, might be coming to an end.

According to information obtained by Der Tagesspiegel, the BVG couldn’t promise to continue its contract with ViaVan and has appealed to the Berlin Senate for support.

BerlKönig had plans to expand their ride offerings to other parts of Berlin, but without the necessary funds, the service could come to an end as soon as April.

The Berlin newspaper reports the Berlin Senate will next discuss the subject on Feb. 13.

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Deutsche Post DHL has announced it will reverse a price increase on parcels and small packages. The 3% price increase had been instituted on January 1 of this year.

The decision was triggered by criticism from Germany’s Federal Network Agency, the country’s regulatory authority, that the new prices were excessive.

DHL said in a statement that it “does not agree with this assessment” but has opted to “retract the price increase to avoid a drawn-out legal dispute.”

The cost of parcels and small packages will revert back to 2019 rates starting on May 1.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.