Monday, July 2, 2018

Where Is My Majority?

Today is Martin Horn’s inauguration as Freiburg’s lord mayor although at present he only is the Verweser (administrator) of his function. This is why he and his deputy and First Mayor Ulrich von Kirchbach hasted to show the document of appointment to the press proving that Martin has the title of Oberbürgermeister (lord mayor) and all the power vested in this position.

Martin and his tutor Ulli in front of Freiburg’s Renaissance town hall (©BZ)
The only restriction Martin faces is that he has not yet the right to cast his vote in the city council. The reason is that a lady has contested Horn’s election and has filed a court action. Already in the past, she had taken pleasure in contesting the results of local elections in all of Baden-Württemberg. Although in all other cases she has already suffered crushing defeats in court her objection is pending. Before the court has not decided on her unfounded complaint Martin Horn is limited as far as his right to vote is concerned.

This limitation has its importance in case there is a draw in the vote of the city council. In such a situation the lord mayor’s vote will break the tie. This leads in fact to the question, “Where is my majority?”

Martin not being a member of any party has the support of the Social Democrats and other small groups, i.e., only 15 of a total of 48 seats in the city council. Other deputies already signaled their support in the burning housing situation that Horn would like to attack with high priority. The past “majority” of Christian Democrats (CDU) and Greens is now the “opposition” and has 20 votes in the city council. But there is hope that the Greens will move in the “social direction” as their whip said, “We're certainly not gonna sit in a corner and pout.”

This proves that on the local level party politics are secondary to Freiburg’s well being.

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