Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser announces that she will run as the top candidate in Hesse. The SPD politician wants to keep her post in Berlin, and her party supports the plan. Headwind comes from the Union. CSU boss Söder only keeps the process in order "if you stop doing your job".
The career plans of Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser have triggered a lively debate: the core issue is whether a member of the federal cabinet can also be the top candidate in a state election, as Faeser is now planning to do in Hesse. Critics warned that the SPD politician would not be able to fulfill her duties as a minister. Meanwhile, Faeser was officially chosen by the Hessian SPD as the top candidate for the state elections in October. The state executive nominated them unanimously, the SPD announced in Friedewald on Twitter after a meeting of the party's leadership bodies.
CSU boss Markus Söder accused Faeser of paying too little attention to the issue of migration. "Where is Ms. Faeser?" the Bavarian Prime Minister asked rhetorically in Munich. It's not enough "to go underground or just campaign in Hesse". Faeser's dual role is "not incompatible from the outset, but only if you just do your job". Specifically, the Bavarian Prime Minister Faeser called for a municipal summit to be called immediately because of the high number of refugees, to control migration policy more effectively and to support municipalities throughout the state much more than before.
The interior expert of the Union faction in the Bundestag, Alexander Throm, even accused Faeser of breaking her oath of office. "Nancy Faeser does not live up to the oath she swore to the German people as Minister of the Interior," Throm told the Bayern media group. "From now on it's the election campaign. This office doesn't take a part-time minister."
Faeser and her party have recently repeatedly pointed out that it is not unusual for a public official to apply for a new one from the current office. This was the case around 2021 with the SPD and Union candidates for chancellor: SPD candidate Scholz was federal finance minister, Union candidate Armin Laschet was prime minister in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the 1990s, Manfred Kanther, an incumbent Federal Minister of the Interior, took up office as the top candidate in Hesse. At the time, the CDU politician retained his ministerial post after his ambitions for the post of prime minister in Hesse were not fulfilled.
Faeser had announced on Thursday that he would only attend a few appointments in the Hesse election campaign in order to be able to concentrate fully on her ministerial office in Berlin. Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressly promised her support for this.
Critical voices also came from the traffic light coalition in Berlin. "I am skeptical that it will be possible to carry out two such responsible tasks at the same time," said Greens Parliamentary Secretary Irene Mihalic to the editorial network Germany. "The Federal Ministry of the Interior is one of the largest houses in the federal government and needs our full attention."
Support for Faeser came from the SPD faction. "You know that women are capable of multitasking," said SPD parliamentary group leader Dirk Wiese on ZDF. It is a matter of course that you also run for top positions from the office.