May 30, 2005: letter of Stefan Engel to Oskar Lafontaine, Lothar Bisky and Axel Troost

On May 23, the chairman of the MLPD, Stefan Engel, gave an interview to the RED FLAG that we had already submitted to you. In addition to this interview, we would like to document a letter of Stefan Engel to Oskar Lafontaine, former chairman of the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) who had left the SPD just recently, to the chairman of the PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism), Lothar Bisky, as well as to Axel Troost, member of the executive committee of the WASG (For Jobs and Social Justice - The Election Alternative).

“… The article in SPIEGEL Online, 'Lafontaine leaves the SPD,' is just lying in front of me. Here, Oskar Lafontaine makes an interesting proposal to form a joint left list of candidates composed of PDS and “For Jobs and Social Justice - The Election Alternative” WASG and to make his own contribution to it.

I consider this an interesting project the MLPD would like to participate in. Though the Central Committee of the MLPD had already decided to participate in the parliamentary elections on its own, we would put aside this candidature if a left election alliance of all relevant left parties with you at the head would be successfully be managed.

I see essential agreements in the struggle against Hartz IV that has to be withdrawn as a whole, in the actual fight against unemployment at the expense of employers' gains, in defence of the social achievements of the working-class movement, an active peace policy, active environmental protection that gives priority to recycling economy and renewable energies, in an active struggle for genuine equality of women, the antifascist struggle, etc.

Of course, there are also essential strategic differences between the respective parties. But in the current situation, these differences must be put aside for the benefit of building up a new left opposition. We would be prepared to do so. On the other hand, for the purpose of the common cause and to concentrate the left forces, this would require to cease the policy of exclusion, especially against the MLPD, that was carried out in the past. An alliance can only work at the same eye level of all the parties involved, carrying out a democratic culture of debate in mutual respect and renouncing public attacks against allies.

The MLPD is able to mobilize several thousands of active election campaigners, it works in numerous alliances and is especially experienced in factories and trade unions (see OPEL-strike) with the main focus on industrial large-scale enterprises, in work among youth and in the militant women’s movement.

In the meantime, we gained first parliamentary experiences on local level within the framework of electoral alliances of individuals. So we would be able to make a contribution to such an alliance which the PDS and the WASG might not yet have at their disposal to such an extent.
Our time is limited. Decisions must be made - otherwise it would lead to the situation that we march separately, which would be extremely regrettable. I believe, there are millions of people who would welcome the unity of the left in the parliamentary elections.

Expecting an immediate reply,


in solidarity, Stefan Engel

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