Berlin’s gay mayor re-elected while Nazis rise in North

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Last weekend’s regional elections in Germany provided both positive and negative results for the country’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Berlin’s gay mayor the Social Democrat Klaus Wowereit, has been re-elected with 31.5% of the vote, but worryingly there also occurred a resurgence of Neo Nazi voting in the north of the country.

Mr Wowereit now has the choice of two potential coalition partners in Berlin, his current one the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) or the Greens whom increased their share of the vote to 13.5%.

In contrast to this encouraging news from Berlin, there is concern after Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) swept into a regional parliament in the north-east state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern last night, comfortably winning seats in the state’s assembly for the first time. There now exists a platform from which the NPD party can espouse its openly homophobic views.

An exit poll for ZDF television showed that the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) had won 7.1% of the vote. This is more than the 5% threshold needed for them to win seats. A poll for ARD television gave the NPD 6.7%. NPD is now entitled to state funding and gets offices.

This current Neo Nazi success would appear to confirm fears that the NPD is now an insidious and established part of Germany’s political landscape, especially in the country’s depressed former communist east. It is the second time Neo-Nazis have entered a regional parliament in three years, reports the Guardian.

Speaking about the failure of the NDP to win any seats in Berlin, Mr Wowereit told jubilant supporters “I’m delighted that Berlin voters have decided to give their votes to democratic parties, and that the NPD has not made it into parliament here”.