The West German Chancellor, Herr Willy Brandt, has set the stage for a premature West German election.
The West German Chancellor, Herr Willy Brandt, has set the stage for a premature West German election. He has told the chairman of the deadlocked Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) that he intends to ask for a vote of confidence in himself of Wednesday (20 September).
Correspondents say the irony of the motion lies in his having to lose it if he wants the election, or to resign. He has already rejected the latter action.
This is the choice given any West German chancellor under the postwar constitution designed to prevent the sort of chaos which plagued Germany during the Weimar Republic and which eventually brought Adolf Hitler to power.
Herr Brandt, the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is the first office three years ago, has been eroded by defections to the opposition, mainly from the ranks of his junior partners, Foreign Minister Walter School's Free Democrats.
In theory, Christian Democrat Opposition leader, Rainer Barrel, could pre-empt the Chancellor's move and take power until the end of 1973. But he has already failed in one such move to gain the necessary majority support.
The House is now evenly split, with both sides claiming 248 supporters. The stalemate has left Herr Brandt with no budget for this year, and has held up important legislation.
The latest development in West German politics follows hard on the heels of the controversial ratification of the non-aggression treaties between West Germany and Poland and the U.S.S.R.
SYNOPSIS: The West German Bundestag in May this year, when it faced a decision on the controversial non-aggression treaties with Russia and Poland. On that occasion, the chancellor, Herr Willy Brandt, took advantage of the Bundestag cafeteria's informal atmosphere to meet with the Opposition leader, Doctor Rainer Barrel on practical ways of pushing ahead with the legislation. that was in early May. Now another crisis... as the Opposition leader and the Chancellor both claim equal support in the West German Parliament. Herr Brandt will ask for a vote of confidence in himself on Wednesday (September 20 -- which he must lose -- to open the way for new premature elections.
Willy Brandt, who received the 1971 Nobel Prize for Peace, is the first West German chancellor who's had to choose between resigning, which he's already rejected, and seeking a vote of confidence. The irony of the decision lies in his having to lose it if he wants the election. In theory, Christian Democrat Opposition leader, Doctor Barrel could pre-empt the chancellor's move, and take power until the end of 1973. But he has already failed once in such a move to gain majority support.
Herr Brandt's majority of twelve in 1969 has been eroded by defections to the Opposition, mainly from Walter School's Free Democrats. The House is now evenly split and the stalemate has left Herr Brandt with no budget for this year, and unable to pass important legislation. If re-elected ??? chancellor has said that he wools. Atinue the alliance with the ???raws. He was confident, he said, bat in any new left-liberal shall on, there would be no defectors.