It’s over for 18 town hall chiefs in Hesse |

The chairman of the mayor of Frankfurt, Feldmann, staggers, the city parliament can start the voting procedure. Thus, some mayors of Hesse lost their office. In big cities, however, voting is particularly difficult.

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18 mayors have already been voted in Hesse

Town hall

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Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) no longer has any support in the Frankfurt city parliament. Almost all factions demand a hat from him. But he doesn’t want it, as he has publicly announced. The ruling coalition is therefore considering the voting procedure. The barriers to this are high, but they are often overcome in Hessen.

Okay, vote, referendum

Edgar Paul recently got it. The Social Democrat was the mayor of Nieste (Kassel) for 21 years. In the 1,800 soul community, Paul regularly achieved his dream results of 75 percent or more. But exactly a year ago, Niester kicked him out of office, with an equally large majority.

Paul had to cheat taxes and duties. The Kassel District Court imposed a fine, Kassel County prohibited him from holding office, and the city council voted overwhelmingly to exclude him – but Paul still wanted to continue. This is how the referendum took place.

21 decoration procedures in Hesse

Hesse city parliaments and city councils have started voting procedures 21 times. So far, only three mayors who could still rule had survived. In 18 cases, from the point of view of the parliamentary majority, this led to a success, that is, to the end of the directly elected mayor.

Not all of the officials counted made it to the referendum. Since 2005, there has been a back door in the city code that allows you to exit without face: if parliament voted for the appeal by a two-thirds majority, the town hall mayor has a week to think about it. He may then – more or less – voluntarily resign from his office and retain his pension rights.

Here are the previous decoration procedures in Hesse:

1. Decorated in a referendum:

  • Erika Schäfer (SPD)Ober-Mörlen (Wetterau), 2000
  • Frank-Peter Giesecke (independent)Cornberg (Hersfeld-Rotenburg), 2002
  • Dorothee Diehl (CDU)Maintal (Main-Kinzig), 2003
  • Paul Weber (SPD)Gemünden (Vogelsberg), 2003
  • Margaret Hardel (CDU), Hanau, 2003
  • Anders Arendt (independent)Amöneburg (Marburg-Biedenkopf), 2005
  • Detlev Sieber (SPD)Schlangenbad (Rheingau-Taunus), 2006
  • Rainer Sens (independent)Hirschhorn (mountain road), 2016
  • Freddy Kammer (independent), Hirzenhain (Wetterau), 2017
  • Edgar Paul (SPD) Niese (Kassel), 2021

2. Resignation after a vote of no confidence in the parliament, withdrawal from the referendum:

  • Herbert Diestelmann (SPD)Alsfeld (Vogelsberg), 2007
  • Mirko Schütte (independent)Brachttal (Main-Kinzig), 2011
  • Armin Faber (free voters)Bad Salzschlirf (Fulda), 2012
  • Marcus Schaff (CDU)Hofbieber (Fulda), 2012
  • Gerrit Klingelhöfer (independent) Mittenaar (Lahn-Dill), 2013
  • Peter Wolff (FDP)Gersfeld (Fulda), 2014
  • Joachim Heller (independent)Leun (Lahn-Dill), 2017
  • Berndt Happel (independent)Siegbach (Lahn-Dill), 2020

3. No vote was cast as there is no majority of citizens:

  • Bernhard Klug (independent)Trendelburg (Kassel), 2001
  • Gerd Bocks (independent), Lollar (Giessen), 2002
  • Malte Jörg Uffeln (independent)Steinau an der Strasse (Main-Kinzig), 2017

Golden Bridge for counted mayors

Over the past 15 years, most mayors have taken advantage of the golden bridge – a voluntary resignation – after parliament withdrew their trust. Few, however, consciously wanted to leave the decision to the electorate. And one of them was successful five years ago.

Malte Jörg Uffeln, the then mayor of Steinau an der Straße (Main-Kinzig), actually outmaneuvered offside. In the “Führer affair” he was under Nazi suspicion because he gave the worker a biography of the great Nazi, Hitler’s confidant, Bormann, and provided him with a dubious dedication.

He lost all support in the city’s parliament – in 2017 it initiated the voting procedure. But the Steinauer people did not see it that dramatically: two-thirds of the voters were against the decoration. Uffeln ended his term of office but did not take office again in 2020.

A 30 percent quorum is a big hurdle

In order to remove the mayor from office, the majority of citizens must vote in favor of deselection – that is, yes. On the other hand, “yes” votes must represent 30 percent of the eligible votes. Depending on how many votes there are, a turnout of 30 percent is needed. plus X.

Experts believe that a 30 percent quorum is a big hurdle, especially in a big city like Frankfurt. To achieve this, the case must be very interesting, says Kelkheim’s lawyer Rafael Wiegelmann, who specializes in municipal law.

This was not always the case with local politics in Frankfurt: in the last mayoral election in 2018, 37.6 percent. of those entitled to vote cast their vote in the first vote, and only 30.2 percent in the second round. With such a low turnout, only if at least 99.4 percent the votes were “yes”. In other words, the lower the public interest, the better it is for the official.


Hessenschau update – newsletter for Hesse

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