Boris Rhein is the new Prime Minister of Hesse. The members of the Wiesbaden state parliament elected the 50-year-old CDU politician in the first ballot with 74 votes. Rhein succeeds Volker Bouffier, who voluntarily resigned after twelve years.
The 70-year-old, who was the longest-serving Prime Minister in Germany, had previously said goodbye to MPs in a speech and thanked them for their trust in electing him Prime Minister three times. “Especially in times of crisis, of war, when it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep a society together, I have tried not to look for what separates but what we have in common,” said Bouffier, who also resigned his seat in the state parliament. For him, the people of Hesse always came first.
With Boris Rhein follows a politician who served under Bouffier for a long time. First as interior minister, then in the first black-green coalition as science and culture minister. Rhein has been President of the State Parliament in Wiesbaden since 2019. In office, he gradually shed his reputation as a tough domestic politician.
His election as prime minister had been eagerly awaited. The CDU and Greens only have a one-vote majority in the Hessian parliament, and a new state parliament will be elected in Hesse in autumn 2023.
Until then, Rhein has announced that it will take care of the economy and social issues in the state. Hesse, with its approximately six million inhabitants, is increasingly drifting apart. The metropolis of Frankfurt has been booming for years with all the growing pains. Rents are skyrocketing, traffic is on the verge of collapse, and noise pollution is steadily increasing. In contrast, more and more people are migrating to the rural regions in North and East Hesse. Doctors, schools and buses are missing. “It’s dramatic in some places,” said Rhein before his election.