A 28-year-old woman and a deputy of Iranian origin will lead the Greens in Germany | International


Affiliates of Los Verdes took a photo with the new co-leader of the party, Ricarda Lang, on the back screen, during the telematic congress held this Saturday.
Affiliates of Los Verdes took a photo with the new co-leader of the party, Ricarda Lang, on the back screen, during the telematic congress held this Saturday.CLEMENS BILAN (EFE)

Ricarda Lang, 28, and Omid Nouripour, 46, both deputies from Los Verdes, were elected this Saturday as new co-presidents of the German environmentalist formation. The party held a congress on-line to renew its leadership, since the previous co-leaders, Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, can no longer continue in their posts. Both are part of the new tripartite Executive of the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz – Baerbock as Foreign Minister and Habeck as Minister of Economy and Climate – and the statutes of the formation do not allow combining both roles.

Lang was unable to address the few dozen members who attended the Berlin Velodrome from the stage for having tested positive for coronavirus. Most of the hundreds of party delegates followed the congress online. Lang represents the leftmost faction of the formation. Until now, he was the spokesperson for gender policies for the Greens and had been part of the federal executive since 2019. In that position, he also participated in the controversial decision to approve some covid bonds of 1,500 euros to all employees of the federal office, including the executive. The Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office is now investigating a possible embezzlement of party funds.

Omir Nouripour, new co-leader of the Greens, during his speech at the party's congress this Saturday.
Omir Nouripour, new co-leader of the Greens, during his speech at the party’s congress this Saturday. JOHN MACDOUGALL (AFP)

Nouripour is an expert in domestic politics. Born in Iran, he came to Germany with his family at the age of 13. He has been a Green MP since 2006, elected by Frankfurt. Nouripour and Lang presented a joint candidacy, following the Green Party tradition of electing a double presidency. Lang had no competition since the statutes reserve one of the two co-presidencies for a woman. He got 76% of the votes. Nouripour was competing with other candidates and won better than Lang, with 83%. The result will be confirmed by postal vote before February 14.

In his speech, Lang assured that climate protection and social justice will be the main concerns of the party’s presidency and invited not to fall into the false dichotomy of deciding between one and the other. “Now we have to show that it is possible to do both things at the same time,” he said. Lang is the youngest leader elected by the party in its 40-year history. The new co-chair of the Greens pointed out that governing in coalition, with Social Democrats and Liberals, “is not a punishment but a great opportunity.” “Not only are we prepared, but we really want to govern,” she added. From now on, the party will dedicate itself “to defending change”.

Nouripour, who was present at the Velodrome, addressed the members to promise his support for the members of the tripartite government. The co-leader of Los Verde —of the current of the real them, the most pragmatic of the party, such as Baerbock and Habeck— also assured that with his candidacy he wanted to motivate people with a migratory background to become actively involved in politics. Nouripour said the party needs to look at what went wrong in the election and aim to reintroduce a candidate with a chance to become chancellor in 2025.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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