Sahra Wagenknecht reacted with sharp criticism to CDU leader Friedrich Merz’s rejection of coalitions with her party BSW. “What Friedrich Merz is doing is political kindergarten and will further weaken the CDU in the East,” Wagenknecht told the German Press Agency.

Merz was asked on Monday on ARD whether he was prepared to consider a collaboration or coalition with the Sahra Wagenknecht alliance in order to prevent AfD prime ministers in the east. The CDU leader then said: “That is absolutely clear, we have always said that. We do not work with such right-wing and left-wing extremist parties.” Both apply to Wagenknecht: “She is right-wing extremist on some issues, but left-wing extremist on others.”

Wagenknecht, for her part, lashed out at Merz, saying: “Olaf Scholz is the worst chancellor in the history of the Federal Republic, but Friedrich Merz would not be an improvement – especially with the Greens as a coalition partner. The CDU wants Ukraine to destroy ministries in Moscow with missiles supplied by Germany,” and a coalition between the CDU and the Greens would be “an extreme threat to peace in Germany.”

BSW General Secretary Christian Leye had previously dismissed Merz’s accusation of extremism as “naive”. “Is peace and social justice now left-wing extremist?” Christian Leye, General Secretary of the BSW, told WELT. “I consider the market radicalism of the former BlackRock manager Merz and his extreme stance on arms deliveries to be dangerous.”

The BSW Secretary General believes that the rejection of a coalition between the CDU and the BSW is wrong. “It’s not that we are desperately hoping for a coalition with the CDU,” says Leye WELT. Under Merz in particular, the Christian Democrats “stand for more arms deliveries and less welfare state,” says the BSW Secretary General. “But even a Mr. Merz has to recognize the political realities in East Germany.” The BSW achieved double-digit results in Thuringia, Saxony and Brandenburg in the European elections.

After the state elections in the autumn, there could be state parliaments consisting of three parties. The AfD is currently leading the polls, followed by the CDU.

“Out of responsibility for the country, the CDU may have to decide what is more important,” says Leye. “Its ideology or simple mathematical truths regarding the formation of a majority.”

Amira Mohamed Ali, co-chair of the BSW, also criticized the “Blackrock man” Merz. He had considered the BSW superfluous early on. Mohamed Ali wrote on X: “Now he’s trying shameless lies and defamation.”