Brief minutes of Die LINKE Executive meeting, 13-14 March 2016

with the prime candidates of the Land organisations Baden-Wurttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saxony-Anhalt present, the Party Executive Committee (PEC) debated the results of the Land parliamentary elections. The results clearly display a shift to the right. The AfD (Alternative for Germany) could successfully present itself as protest party against the establishment. Voters apparently accepted thereby also to vote for nationalist and racist positions; for many the racist political offer of the AfD was even crucial to their decision. All parties represented in Bundestag have lost (with the exceptions of Green prime candidate of Baden-Wurttemberg, Kretschmann, and socialdemocratic prime candidate of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dreyer).

For DIE LINKE results were disappointing. Despite very engaged and joint election campaigns, for which the PEC thanked all campaigners, election goals could not be achieved.

Everyone agreed, though, that Die LINKE stands firm in its stance regarding the refugees’ question. Our voice for open-mindedness and humaneness is furthermore urgently needed! In the next weeks it will be necessary to talk about how to deal with the shift to the right, how to organise the defence of democracy, how DIE LINKE shall position itself facing the disintegration of the centre-left camp, and how we can better get through to precarious and outpaced people.

A further focus of the PEC meeting was the preparation of the party congress in Magdeburg. The PEC agreed on convening the first session of the fifth congress of DIE LINKE on May 28 to 29, 2016. The congress will begin on May 28, 10 am and end on May 29, 3 pm. Most prominent tasks will be the debate of motions and the election of a new party executive board. The PEC resolved three motions which will become the leading motions of the congress. All information on the congress can be found here: http://en.die-linke.de/die-linke/organs/party-congress/magdeburg-2016/

Our campaign “That’s essential!” currently entered the phase of “More funds for education, care, and health!” with an introductory press conference on March 7 and diverse actions on occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8. The action phase will continue until May 1. On April 16 there will be an action conference to exchange ideas and experiences and to plan further events.

On the same occasion the Clara-Zetkin women’s prize was awarded for the sixth time. The PEC assessed the Federal Women’s Conference and agreed to its resolution. The review of the Women’s Day demonstration was very positive.

Solidarity with refugees and the fight against the right have been issues debated in the PEC already before Election Day. The call “DIE LINKE against the movement from the right” and the support of the alliance call “Stand up against racism. Your voice against right-wing agitation!” were approved. It was agreed during the debate that DIE LINKE needs to understand itself as a focal point against the right, to expose the AfD from a social point of view and to fight against growing discouragement. The Land organisation of Lower Saxony suggested assessing how refugees can become active in the party.

The PEC adopted a call for the Easter marches, a declaration on the referendum in the Netherlands on the EU Ukraine association agreement and agreed on grants for the central election campaign fund to the Land organisations Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, and Northrhine-Westphalia.

The PEC further received reports by the executive board of the European Left and from the meeting “Refounding Europe”, dealt with the congress of the Brandenburg branch and the results of communal elections in Hesse, where DIE LINKE could gain. Further issues were the EU summit, the sordid deal with Turkey to protect Europe from further immigration, which was denounced by the UN as against international law, and Erdogan’s war against his own people. These topics will also be debated on the Peace Conference on March 18 to 19 in Berlin.

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