With his most recent missteps, Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann has finally isolated himself in Frankfurt’s Römer. What options are left for the SPD politician now that his own party is demanding his resignation?
Peter Feldmann (SPD) cannot hope that things will grow until his return from the World Economic Forum in Davos. After his recent missteps around the European Cup victory of Eintracht – keyword cup gate and keyword flight attendants – the mayor of Frankfurt is no longer welcome in the local Römer. Sitting out in Davos? This strategy is unlikely to work now that even the Frankfurt SPD is openly demanding his resignation.
It seems certain that if the 63-year-old continues to hold office despite all the recommendations, the existing coalition of Greens, FDP, Volt and Feldmann’s SPD in Frankfurt City Hall should initiate a voting procedure against the mayor. “Should Feldmann not even now have the insight to initiate his resignation, the FDP will strive for a broad social alliance to end his term in office,” said the FDP parliamentary group leader Yanki Pursün. And the Greens said: “Should this appeal also die down, we will discuss further steps together with the coalition parties, up to and including a vote-out procedure.” The SPD also said that they were in exchange about such questions.
Option 1: opt-out procedure
The hurdles for a deselection procedure are high, at least in the second step: According to the Hessian Municipal Code (HGO), two thirds of all members of the city council would have to vote in favor of such a procedure – which is easy to imagine given the current political mood. The citizens of Frankfurt would then have to vote on it. Not only would the majority of voters have to vote in favor of voting out the mayor, but this majority would also have to make up at least 30 percent of those entitled to vote. For classification: In the last mayor election in 2018, 37.6 percent of those entitled to vote cast their votes in the first ballot, and then only 30.2 percent in the runoff.
Option 2: resign
Feldmann himself could avoid such a procedure if he complied with the demands of all those involved in the Roman and declared his resignation. But how likely is a resignation because of a “gentleman’s joke” (Frankfurt’s deputy SPD chairwoman Ina Hartwig) if even an accusation of suspicion of corruption was not enough?
Option 3: Retirement for “special reasons”
Alternatively, Feldmann could use paragraph 76a of the Hessian municipal code: “retirement upon application for special reasons”. He would have to prove that he lacked the confidence to continue in office. The City Council would have to approve the motion with a two-thirds majority. Financially, Feldmann would be better off than with a classic resignation, because he would probably be guaranteed a “pension”.
Feldmann announces statement
Feldmann had already announced some time ago that he no longer wanted to run for the next mayoral election in Frankfurt in 2024. But 2024 is still a long way off, and the pressure is growing: legally, politically, in the media and from Frankfurt Eintracht, as a fan of which Feldmann recently shot himself offside. After the hormonal knockout, the political knockout for the two-time election winner Feldmann seems to be only a matter of time. Feldmann has announced a statement on the current situation at short notice for this Wednesday: He wants to make this at 11.30 a.m. in front of his office in the Römer. hessenschau.de broadcasts live.
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