Since the resignation of Ute Bergner in 2021, the FDP has no longer represented a parliamentary group in the state parliament. Thuringia's highest judges are now to clarify what the liberals are entitled to in terms of finances and parliamentary rights.
Weimar (dpa/th) - The FDP has appealed to the Thuringian constitutional court to finally clarify its new status as a group in the state parliament. Among other things, it is about the question of whether the financial resources that Parliament has granted the group are appropriate. The constitutional judges want to negotiate on Wednesday in Weimar. A verdict is expected at a later date.
Instead of the minimum five deputies required, the FDP now only has four members in the state parliament. MP Ute Bergner left the parliamentary group last year. After that, the state parliament decided that the FDP was a group - with less finances but also rights than a parliamentary group. The liberals, with their group spokesman Thomas Kemmerich, now see their rights under the Thuringian constitution violated.
Among other things, it is about whether only 56 percent of the funds are justified with the same range of tasks compared to the previous group status, said the managing director of the FDP group, Tim Wagner, on request. As before, the four MPs are represented in all state parliament committees with the exception of the investigative committees and in the Council of Elders.
Instead of 1.9 million euros per year, the parliamentary group only receives around one million euros. The money would mainly be used to pay the employees. From the point of view of the FDP, a gap of 20 percent to the parliamentary group status would be acceptable.
The FDP is also hoping for clarification as to whether their group spokesman, who has the status of a parliamentary manager, is entitled to a company car and driver. After all, he completes many appointments nationwide on behalf of the group, said Wagner. "It's about creating publicity for the work of the group in the state parliament." The FDP would like to have a separate parliamentary manager again. She also takes the view that the group spokesman is largely equivalent to a group leader.
The question of how many current hours the FDP can apply for is also controversial. They are a means of setting thematic priorities in Parliament. At the moment she is only allowed to do this once a quarter - on average in every second plenary session of the state parliament, said Wagner. "We cannot sufficiently exercise our control and design rights," Kemmerich said when the lawsuit was submitted.