Top Social Democrats want Gerhard Schröder out of the party – POLITICO

BERLIN — Senior German Social Democrats want to oust former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from the party for refusing to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin over invading Ukraine.

“Gerhard Schröder has only acted as a businessman for many years, and we should stop perceiving him as an elder statesman and former chancellor,” said Saskia Esken, one of the two co-chairs of the Social Democrats (SPD), the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Esken said in one interview on Monday on Deutscher Rundfunk that she was in favor of Schröder leaving the party, adding that several motions are already under way to facilitate his departure. “These procedures are conducted according to the statutes of the SPD, but there are rightly high hurdles for a party exclusion,” she said.

Schröder, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, has been pressured to give up all the lucrative positions he holds at Russian energy companies and to publicly denounce Putin, but has so far failed to do so.

Widespread outrage over Schröder’s position was reignited over the weekend when the New York Times published one interview with the ex-Chancellor, in which he said he was not doing “mea culpa” while dismissing the notion that Putin was behind the recent massacre of Ukrainians in Bucha near Kyiv.

“Honestly, in this phase of history there is now only one side, that of the Ukrainians, and it is tragic that Gerhard Schröder is taking the other side,” says Lars Klingbeil, the other SPD vice-chairman. called Sunday.

Early Monday, Michelle Müntefering, member of the SPD leadership, called for Schröder’s expulsion and said the SPD should no longer accept his membership fee because it was “dirty money”. Top Social Democrats want Gerhard Schröder out of the party – POLITICO

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