DThe Thuringian Environment Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anja Siegesmund is retiring from politics. “For personal reasons, I decided to resign my posts on January 31, 2023 and hand them over to new people in an orderly manner,” said the Green politician on Friday in Erfurt. The decision surprised political Erfurt, where the Greens work together with the left and the SPD in a minority government.
Siegesmund, who was also the Green Party’s top candidate in the last two state elections, explained that she wanted to clear the spot in good time before the next elections in autumn 2024 and give the party enough time to make a decision. “Change is part of politics, and after careful consideration I am not aiming for another top candidacy in 2024.”
In a letter to the members of the Greens, which is available to the FAZ, Siegesmund wrote that she trusts that the party’s state executive will succeed in organizing a successor “who can now distinguish herself and be a strong green voice”. The 45-year-old mother of three is probably the best-known Green Party politician in Thuringia. In the coalition, she had a reputation as a tough negotiator and ambitious minister. For example, she had doubled the budget of the Ministry of the Environment since taking office in 2014.
She left open what Siegesmund will do in the future. She now wants to “break new ground and take a break before I make a new start professionally,” she wrote. Politicians from the SPD and the left, but also from the CDU in Thuringia, regretted Siegesmund’s withdrawal.
With her, the state government is losing “one of the most honest and fairest campaigners for its issues,” said CDU state and parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt. In the red-red-green cabinet, she stood “for a realistic green policy”. Siegesmund’s decision came just one day after the Thuringian budget was passed, which the red-red-green and the opposition CDU had agreed on after a long struggle. Contrary to the agreement, the CDU abstained from voting in the state parliament in Erfurt. This allowed the budget to pass Parliament, but the Union to make its rejection clear.