The Berlin SPD confirmed their leadership duo in office on Sunday. Franziska Giffey received only 59 percent of the votes at the state party conference in Neukölln’s Hotel Estrel. Her co-boss Raed Saleh received 57 percent of the vote. There were no opposing candidates.
Franziska Giffey said to justify their renewed joint candidacy: “We would like to do it as a team. We are an ideal complement to each other,” said Giffey in the direction of her co-chairman Raed Saleh. Giffey promised her party that in future she would take a closer look at the position of the SPD in the inner city districts. Within the S-Bahn ring, the party only received a direct mandate in the autumn parliamentary elections.
Giffey said: “We have to do a lot in downtown Berlin to find our way back to strength. It cannot be taken for granted that the Greens will automatically get the center of Berlin.” She wants to be successful in the city center and in the outskirts in the future. Giffey emphasized the importance of housing for the city’s future, but also advocated stronger enforcement of the right of first refusal.
Your co-boss and the leader of the SPD parliamentary group in the Berlin House of Representatives, Raed Saleh, gave a combative speech. Referring to the Ukraine war and inflation, Saleh said: “The issue of impending poverty is an issue for German and Berlin social democracy.” Saleh said that those who earn money from the crisis should be taxed higher and called for an excess profit tax.
With regard to Berlin, he advocated more efforts in the area of integration. “People shouldn’t just be tolerated in Berlin for years, that’s an insult. They really have to belong,” said Saleh. He also pledged that parliament should lower the voting age to 16 later this year. He received a lot of applause for it.
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Before the election, Juso chairwoman Sinem Tasan-Funke demanded: “We have to let the party breathe. We have to develop ideas, discuss hard and stand united in the election.” She called for a more open discussion culture from the two state chairmen for the future.
The two SPD politicians have been at the head of the capital SPD since November 2020. Giffey got around 89 percent of the votes, Saleh around 69 percent. The duo led the party in last year’s election campaign for the House of Representatives. There, the SPD is the strongest faction, with Saleh as chairman, just ahead of the Greens. Julian Zado, Iris Spranger and Andreas Geisel will no longer be part of the new board.
The substantive debate was expected for the evening, but many motions were to be decided by consensus. A debate is expected above all about a possible further construction of the A100 to Friedrichshain and Pankow. The choices are the demand for a complete stop of planning and a continuation of the previous party position, i.e. the demand for a citizens’ initiative about a possible further construction of the city motorway.