Bamberg's quirky alliances

Bamberg City Councilor Jürgen Weichlein doesn’t really know what everyone wants from him now. The city council group “Bambergs Mitte” (BM) also wanted to take a look at the state parliament. Others would find it easy, for example the CSU – they could just be invited by the local elected officials. But his people? Logically, the BM (“Competence instead of Party”) does not exist in the Maximilianeum. And you just let yourself be invited by the local AfD city council, who also sits in the state parliament. The BM has 100 members, almost a quarter went to Munich. Something “right” was not mentioned on this trip, “it was all about the state parliament”.

Will one still be allowed to do it, say some now. Others find that it is not entirely unimportant who you get involved with, especially if you consider yourself to be in the political “centre”. But some people are even more surprised about the “Volt” party, whose decidedly pan-European, left-liberal orientation literally jumps at you when you look at their publications. In Bamberg , however, Volt until recently (together with the ÖDP, which is actually rather indifferent in the classic left-right scheme) formed a joint faction – which Volt city councilor Hans-Günter Brünker finds completely unproblematic. At the “community level,” he says, such more purposeful coalitions are the most normal thing in the world. And in the federal government there are also “coalitions” of parties that otherwise have little to do with each other. Might be. A common faction but?

The city council has officially laid down its arms

The Bayreuth Administrative Court recently took a look at the Bamberg situation in response to a lawsuit and, to put it politely, expressed serious concerns as to whether such factional come-togethers across party rifts – for which the term “fake factions” has become common in Bamberg – are appropriate . After all, there is the question of whether political antipodes are only getting together to get proper group money. The reason for the review was a lawsuit by the AfD, which saw itself excluded from the allocation of Senate seats. At first, the councils wanted to defend themselves against this judge’s decision, but then sheepishly withdrew an appeal – because of the obvious lack of a chance.

Now, for the most part, the City Council has officially laid down its arms. Bamberg’s senates will be enlarged from twelve to 16 members and all will be served as should have been the case from the outset based on the election results. For the time being, however, the councilors could not bring themselves to decide whether brightly colored, dazzling “fractions” should continue to exist in politically fragmented Bamberg. After all, the particularly quirky alliance of Volt, ÖDP and BM has meanwhile downgraded itself to a “committee community”.

Which makes a significant difference financially. Group meetings when there is a need for a vote must be compensated – but where there is no group, there is no need, so no additional compensation. A city spokesman emphasizes that the administration pointed out problematic faction formation shortly after the 2020 local elections. Nobody can rule out the possibility that repayments could be due – a six-figure sum is making the rounds in Bamberg.

Local politics: Hans-Günter Brünker, Volt City Councilor in Bamberg, believes that the legislation is lagging behind the situation in local parliaments.

Hans-Günter Brünker, Volt City Councilor in Bamberg, believes that the legislation is lagging behind the situation in local parliaments.

(Photo: Volt)

The reaction of Volt and Bamberg’s center to this danger is about as different as their political character – even if Jürgen Weichlein emphasizes that the BM people belong to “the most diverse political directions”. repayments? If it comes to that, “then we’ll just pay you back,” says the entrepreneur, and you don’t need this money. And he adds: “There are others who need it.”

Hans-Günter Brünker, a trained actor and former Volt candidate in the federal elections, does not believe that repayments will be necessary. He pleads for a “change in legislation”, which lags far behind the situation in the local parliaments. The parliamentary groups are “not about money” but “political cooperation”, which worked well with Bamberg’s middle. Did he know in advance about the BM/AfD trip to the state parliament – for which the Bamberg cabaret artist Florian Herrenleben introduced the term “coffee trip”? No, says Brünker. But if he had known about it, he would have advised: “Leave it alone!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You might like