Germany: Attempted exclusions from Left Party – update

One battle won, next battle to come

On Tuesday October 28, the branch committee of DIE LINKE (Left Party) in Berlin-Neukölln discussed the membership of two leading members of Sozialistische Alternative (SAV, CWI Germany) who had applied to join the party. In an attempt to block the membership of Lucy Redler and Sascha Stanicic, the national vice chairman of the party, Klaus Ernst, had handed in an objection to them joining. The branch committee had to decide whether or not to act on this objection.

With a vote of six to three, the committee rejected Klaus Ernst’s opposition and came out in favour of the two Marxists joining the party. They came to the conclusion that the objection was not directed against the two members as individuals, but against the SAV in general.

Klaus Ernst reacted with a press statement in which he announced that he was going to appeal to the Left Party’s control commission, opposing the decision of the Berlin-Neukölln branch committee. The control commission is also being asked by two other SAV members, Aron Amm and Hakan Doganay, to accept their appeal against the opposite decision of the Berlin-Pankow branch committee, which upheld Ernst’s objection to their party membership.

Klaus Ernst has also objected to the Left Party membership of two more SAV activists, Holger Dröge and hospital trade union leader Carsten Becker. Their cases will be discussed in Berlin-Mitte on November 5.

Since the objections were handed in, a wave of protests from rank and file members and office holders of the party has developed, with many letters being sent to Klaus Ernst in solidarity with the SAV members. This will have to continue in order to make sure that the control commission does not give into the pressure from the party tops, but rather acts in accordance with the party’s programme and statutes which clearly state the DIE LINKE is an open and pluralist party.

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October 2008