Michael memmel the basic idea behind the video is certainly a good one: to explain to the burghers, and especially to first-time voters, how the election of city council and lord mayor in bamberg works. After all, municipal elections differ enormously from state or federal elections. So dear wolfgang metzner, third mayor and teacher at the E.T.A.-hoffmann-gymnasium, its students make a video explaining the process in detail as part of a p-seminar. This declaration has now been linked to the homepage of the city of bamberg – which is now causing a stir in the election campaign.
Why? Because political opponents of mayor andreas stark (SPD) see the video as a violation of the principle of neutrality on the part of the city leader. On sunday, the bamberger allianz (BA) with OB candidate ursula redler filed an action for an injunction with the administrative court of bayreuth.
Principle and pride
While one or two politicians had grumbled about the video behind closed doors during the current election campaign, she had decided to take action – knowing full well that she would be heavily criticized for it in some cases. But redler, who works as a public prosecutor in bamberg, emphasizes that her legal step has nothing to do with election campaign tactics: "it’s not about my person, but about the principle and the pride of the mayor of bamberg."
The criticism of the video is mainly related to the explanation of the system of OB election in contrast to the illustration of the city council election. While in the latter neutral comic figures are shown to illustrate city councillors, the current incumbent, andreas stark, is shown in the election of the head of the town hall. For the bamberg alliance, this "crosses the line" which "urgently requires action on our part," as the motion states as the petition to the administrative court states.
Already one day after the complaint became known, the video is again from the side city.Bamberg.De disappeared. In response to a question, city spokeswoman ulrike siebenhaar states: "the city of bamberg rejects the accusations of the bamberg alliance because of a link on the city’s website to a school video about the municipal election, which was produced as part of a P-seminar. The school video is not objectionable because it does not directly or indirectly contain an election call or statement. It is limited to purely factual information on the electoral system. However, in order to avoid irritation, the city of bamberg has already removed the link permanently, without acknowledging any legal obligation to do so."
Redler sees this deletion as "a kind of admission of guilt" and does not withdraw its request, even if the requirement of the BA has already been met. Because: "for me that was just the tip of the iceberg", the challenger says and refers to the naming of the city’s telephone number and e-mail address on starkes’ election campaign page on the internet.
Glusenkamp joins in
The green candidate jonas glusenkamp agrees with his competitor in the election campaign on this issue: "the use shows that the mayor of oberburg is insensitive to the infrastructure of the city administration, which is financed by taxes. For the election campaign, a candidate needs his own infrastructure, independent of the resources of the mayor’s office in the city hall." Glusenkamp had already criticized in the past that the city’s press office was also being used for election campaign purposes – a statement that was vehemently contradicted by the mayor.