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Germany's Left Party Expelled From Bundestag
Germany's Left Party was expelled from the Bundestag yesterday after its members held up signs bearing the names of Afghan civilians killed in a German-ordered airstrike last September.
The protest came in the middle of a parliamentary debate on extending Germany’s nine-year military mission to Afghanistan by a further year.
Some 429 MPs voted for and 111 against the new mandate – 16 fewer votes in favour than last time – allowing troop numbers to be increased by 850 to 5,350.
The opposition Green Party abstained and, after being re-admitted, the Left Party MPs contributed to the 111 votes against the mandate.
“This was no routine vote, we reject the war in Afghanistan,” said Gesine Lötzsch, the Left Party’s designate co-leader, after MPs held up about 70 signs with names of victims. One read: “Ali Mohammad, farmer, 35 years old, nine children.
“This was a dignified way of remembering individual people with names and biographies who have died, deaths that have brought calamity on their families.”
The expulsion of the entire 76-member Left parliamentary party, a first for the Bundestag, underlined the controversy that still surrounds Germany’s first post-war military deployment outside Europe. The revised mandate will increase by five to 1,400 the number of Germans training Afghan soldiers. Read more.