According to media reports, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser will campaign for the SPD in Hesse against CDU Prime Minister Boris Rhein. In the event of a defeat, she still wants to remain in the federal cabinet. She considers it “a matter of course” to run for elections from “an office”.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is the SPD’s top candidate for the Hessian state elections on October 8th. She wants to remain interior minister, as the chairwoman of the Hessian SPD told Der Spiegel in an interview published on Thursday. She also announced her decision on Thursday to the employees of the ministry in a letter available to the German Press Agency. Faeser wrote in it that she wanted to be the first woman prime minister in Hesse.
Faeser emphasized in an interview with “Spiegel” that she “takes it for granted in a democracy that you can run for elections from an office” and referred to the prime ministers of the CDU and CSU from Bavaria and Hesse.
In view of the war, for Faeser, “now is not the time to campaign”. She spent 18 years in state politics in Hesse: “The people in Hesse know me.” Faeser emphasized that she was applying for the office of Prime Minister. “I was already the leader of the opposition.”
Faeser does not accept a comparison with Norbert Röttgen in North Rhine-Westphalia, who was pushed out of the ministerial office by Angela Merkel at the time. While she came from local and state politics, Röttgen wanted to go from federal politics to the state parliament.
There had already been speculation in the past few days about a possible candidacy for Faeser. Not only the Union, but also the coalition partner FDP warned that in times of crisis with a war in Europe, large refugee movements and a continuing high terrorist threat, one cannot lead the Federal Ministry of the Interior and campaign in Hesse at the same time with the necessary commitment.
In Hesse, the Social Democrats have been in opposition since 1999. The Christian Democrats are entering the race with the incumbent Prime Minister, Boris Rhein. Economics Minister Tarek Al-Wazir is running for the Greens, which have been part of the government since 2014. This Friday, Faeser is in Friedewald at the SPD’s Hesse summit.