The federal anti-discrimination agency has a new boss. What sounds rather boring has become a political issue. The traffic light candidate for the office has been attacked by critics for weeks.

In mid-June, the cabinet proposed the journalist Ferda Ataman for the head of the federal anti-discrimination agency – since then the personnel has been the subject of controversial debate. This Thursday, the Bundestag will now vote on the replacement of the post.

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Opposition politicians from the Union and AfD, but also individual representatives of the governing party FDP deny the journalist’s suitability. Among other things, you describe Ataman as a “left-wing activist” who stands for “divisive identity politics”. SPD leader Saskia Esken speaks of a “slanderous campaign”. But the majority for Ataman stands well.

Among other things, Ataman caused discussions with a “Spiegel” column in 2020 when she defended the term “potato” for Germans without a migration background. The deletion of earlier tweets, which could be interpreted as polemical, was also criticized.

Ataman said in June that she had deleted private tweets from her account for reasons of neutrality.

The necessary majority of the traffic light parties for the candidate is in all likelihood, although individual Free Democrats had expressed criticism. “I personally think it would be good if Ms. Ataman would clearly distance herself from some earlier statements,” said the parliamentary director of the FDP parliamentary group, Stephan Thomae, of the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Thursday).

Group Vice President Konstantin Kuhle assumed that the FDP MPs would approve in the “Welt”.

The FDP would provoke a coalition crisis if they did not agree to the personnel. Finally, the federal cabinet, in which FDP leader and vice chancellor Christian Lindner and other FDP ministers are represented, made the joint personnel proposal. He came from the Green-led Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, which is home to the anti-discrimination agency. Union and AfD reiterated their concerns before the election.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency advises those affected on the basis of the General Equal Treatment Act on enforcing their rights if they are or have been discriminated against for racist, ethnic, gender or religious reasons.

This can be, for example, discrimination because of the surname when looking for an apartment or when looking for a job because of age. The office also obtains statements from the other side and mediates amicable settlements.