Green Primaries

A CDU-Friendly Ticket

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    With its choice of advocates for realpolitik to lead the party into the general election, the Greens position themselves to form a governing coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives, a situation they are familiar with in several states but not on the national level.

  • Facts


    • Moderate pair Cem Özdemir and Katrin Göring-Eckardt won Germany’s Green primary election ahead of the general election due in September.
    • Mr. Özdemir, 51, whose parents moved to Germany from Turkey, has long been a prominent figure on the party’s centrist side. In 1994, he became the first politician with Turkish roots to be elected to Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag.
    • During their annual party conference in November, the Greens agreed to launch their election campaign with the objective of introducing a “constitutional, productive and feasible wealth tax for the super-rich.” Such a pledge would be anathema to the conservative CDU.
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Grüne wählen Spitzenduo zur Bundestagswahl 2017
Duo Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir plan to represent the Green Party “across its entire spectrum.” Source: Kay Nietfeld/DPA.

Centrist duo Cem Özdemir and Katrin Göring-Eckardt won Germany’s Green primary election and will lead the environmentalist party into this year’s general election.

The pairing seems to signal the traditionally left-leaning Greens’ potential preparedness to form a government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) after the election this fall, if it garnered enough votes.

As the party’s regulations require that two candidates, at least one a woman, lead the party into the elections, parliamentary group chairwoman Ms. Göring-Eckardt, the sole female contender, was sure to make the cut. In the party’s primary this week, she won 71 percent of the members’ votes.

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