Le premier ministre chrétien-démocrate sortant Hendrik Wüst, 46 ans, est arrivé en tête du scrutin dimanche en Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie.

Vote sanction contre Olaf Scholz et les Libéraux dans le premier land d’Allemagne

The thirteen million voters of the most important Land of Germany harshly sanctioned, this Sunday, the party of the Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Five months after the latter’s enthronement, SPD candidate Thomas Kutschaty, with 26.7% of the vote, recorded the worst result in the party’s history in North Rhine-Westphalia. Opposition leader Friedrich Merz sees himself, on the contrary, strengthened with the arrival of his candidate Hendrik Wüst at the head of the elections with 35.7% of the vote.

The blow is all the more severe for Olaf Scholz as he has come several times to support Thomas Kutschaty’s campaign. The latter nevertheless still hopes to gather around him a coalition with the Greens and the FDP, as at the federal level. Outgoing Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst, however, only needs the Greens to form a majority government. “The challenge of the moment is to reconcile industry and climate”, he underlined several times Sunday evening in reference to the skills of the two parties.

The Greens, big winners of the election

Whatever happens, the big winners of this election are the Greens. They have improved their score by nearly 12 points in five years to 18.2% and have secured the status of essential partner of the future regional government. As in Schleswig-Holstein eight days ago, where environmentalists came second to the SPD, the popularity of Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck is benefiting the party.

Conversely, the FDP once again lost ground. After a decline of 5.1 points in Schleswig-Holstein, this division by more than two of the 2017 score, to 5.9%, comes on the own lands of the party chairman and Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner. “It’s a disastrous failure,” admitted the latter in front of his troops.

The weakening of the FDP unbalances the coalition of Olaf Scholz

The weakening of the Liberals risks hardening relations with environmentalists and social democrats in the government of Olaf Scholz. A first flash took place last Friday during the hearing of the Chancellor by the Defense Committee of the Bundestag.

Faced with Olaf Scholz’s refusal to specify his intentions in terms of support for Ukraine, while the shipment of arms to kyiv drags on, the elected liberal Marcus Faber went out with three other deputies of his party before the end of the hearing. The MP then apologized for the inappropriateness of his exit and drew the consequences by resigning from his position as FDP spokesman on the committee. But this outburst reflects the frustration of a party that is struggling to exist within the coalition, and whose leader is forced to increase public debts instead of reducing them as he promised his voters.

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