Perspectives: The Rise of “The Left” in German State of Thuringia (11/4)

By Markus Ziener,  Berlin writer and former Handelsblatt Correspondent in Washington, DC

Sometimes local events can tell you quite a lot about national politics. That's why current events in the German state of Thuringia, located in the former East Germany,   should get our attention. For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany a local state will have a prime minister from the party “Die Linke”, The Left, which is the successor party to the former SED, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The SED was the East German equivalent of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But unlike the East German state that dissolved in 1990, the party remained – after having changed its name a few times. Later this month, it is all but certain that the head of “Die Linke”,  Bodo Ramelow, will be elected prime minister of Thuringia – with the help from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party.