Around a year and a half before the state elections in Brandenburg, the co-chair of the Brandenburg Greens, Julia Schmidt, resigned at the urging of the party executive. The party accuses the 29-year-old of “repeated cases of intolerable misconduct,” as stated in a brief statement over the weekend. The board of directors had withdrawn their confidence and asked them unanimously to resign.

But how did the rift come about? The remaining Green Board is silent on the exact reasons. But this much is indicated: It is said to have been about agreements, internal information and contact with coalition partners.

Schmidt is silent on allegations

The Greens country leader Alexandra Pichl, who formed a double leadership with Schmidt, told the German Press Agency: “In the last few weeks and months we have had the impression that Julia is mainly on her own behalf and not in matters of the National association. She didn’t keep her word either and she destroyed trust in the long term.” Schmidt did not comment on these allegations.

Rather, on Saturday she spoke of a personal decision and tweeted that she was paving the way for a reorganization of the state association and wanted to devote herself to her studies. She personally decided not to be available as a top candidate. “I would rather first complete my studies, which has recently become increasingly difficult to achieve alongside my political work.” The 29-year-old has been at the head of the state party since 2019, she was elected to the leadership duo together with Pichl.

Resignation in an unfavorable phase

The resignation comes at a very unfavorable phase for the Greens, as the state elections are due next year – the Greens currently govern in Brandenburg in a coalition with the SPD and CDU. The delegates are to decide on the replacement of the top leadership of the party in April.

The Greens have already redistributed Schmidt’s tasks on the state executive board for the transition, according to their own statements. Whoever succeeds the previous head of state: The Greens will be a different party in parts.

Julia Schmidt was the communicative part to the outside and, according to the CDU, was able to be a tough negotiating partner in rounds of talks of the red-black-green alliance, but at the same time she was open and imaginative for solutions. The fact that younger people from both parties maintained a good conversational wire was considered an open secret, but also led to tensions among the Greens. Now the party must make it clear to the outside world and to its members that it is fully capable of acting in the Kenya coalition and in the election campaign.

Repeated criticism of coalition partners

Schmidt had recently repeatedly criticized coalition partners. She repeatedly campaigned for a faster exit from lignite in Lusatia and said that the expansion of renewable energies should not be screwed up by the SPD and CDU. In 2021 she called for better cooperation in the coalition.

The CDU parliamentary group leader Jan Redmann regretted the resignation. “The Brandenburg Greens are losing one of their most prominent figures. They never made it easy for the CDU,” said Redmann. “I’ve seen her quite creative and able to compromise in negotiations. That will be missing.” Redmann criticized the Greens and wrote on Twitter: “Public night out, that’s not the fine English way. Where’s the respect in that?”

The former AfD parliamentary group leader in the Berlin House of Representatives, Georg Pazderski, wrote on Twitter on Sunday that Schmidt had “repeatedly made false statements in order to establish himself as a top candidate”. The SPD did not comment on the resignation. It is an internal matter of the Greens that has no impact on the coalition, it said.