Germany: Left party to hold leadership vote amid turmoil

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Left party said Sunday that it will hold a leadership vote in June amid a series of internal spats including over the handling of sexism allegations.

Co-leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow resigned Wednesday, citing the sexism spat and unfulfilled hopes for the party’s renewal.

“In light of the party’s difficult situation the executive board requires a new mandate from the party convention,” it said. The statement also cited the need to clarify its political direction and reform the party structure.

The anti-capitalist party barely scraped into parliament at the last election and internal splits have been exacerbated recently by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Left, whose roots include the Socialist Unity Party that controlled East Germany until reunification, has long had close ties to Moscow.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported last month that several female members of the party in the central state of Hesse had made allegations of sexual harassment and assaults but received little support.

One of the men alleged to have been accused of harassment was in a relationship with Janine Wissler, who is now the party’s second co-chair, Spiegel reported.

The Left is part of the government in four of Germany’s 16 states.

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