German Left, Descendent of Old East German Communist Party, Picks New Leaders

Janine Wissler, left, and Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, the new federal leaders of the Left Party, stand together after their election at the Left Party's online federal party conference, each holding a bouquet of flowers in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Feb.27, 2021. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/Pool via AP)

BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s Left has picked two women to lead the anti-capitalist party into this fall’s national election.

A party conference Saturday elected Janine Wissler und Susanne Hennig-Wellsow as co-leaders.

Wissler is the Left’s parliamentary caucus leader in Hesse state.

Hennig-Wellsow is the party’s chairwoman in Thuringia, the only German state where the Left leads a government.

The succeed Katja Kipping and Bernd Riexinger, who have led the party since 2012.

The Left, which is partly rooted in East Germany’s governing Socialist Unity Party, received 9.2% of the vote in the 2017 national election. Current polls ahead of the vote on Sept. 26 put its support at 7-8%.


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