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Thuringia state Social Democrat defects to Merkel's CDU

Marion Rosin, a Social Democratic MP in the eastern German state of Thuringia, has jumped ship to join Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU. The Red-Red-Green coalition now holds the majority by only one seat.

In a fax to the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Thuringia faction on Tuesday, state MP Marion Rosin told her fellow delegates that her decision to leave the party had been prompted by the so-called Red-Red-Green's (R2G) coalition's centralist tendencies characterized by "the dogmatic-ideological leaders of the left."

Read more: Where will Europe's mega-election year 2017 leave the Left?

Rosin's departure from the SPD is a huge blow to the Thuringia state coalition, which since 2014 has comprised the SPD, Left and Greens. The alliance, led by Thuringia Left Party faction leader Bodo Ramelow, now holds the majority in Erfurt by only one vote with 46 of the 91 seats.

Education expert

In a telephone call with Thuringia's SPD parliamentary party chairman Matthias Hey on Wednesday, Roisin said she was particularly irritated by the coalition's criticism of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) education policy in recent years.

The former SPD lawmaker had spoken out against several projects of the regional government.

Among other things, according to local German paper "Thüringer Landeszeitung," Rosin found "the return of the school district from the municipal to the provincial government extremely critical" and was against the minimum numbers for primary and mainstream schools. The Ministry of Education in Erfurt is run by the leftist "Linke" (the Lefty Party.)

Read more: Thuringia elects first ever Left Party state premier

Responding to the news of Roisin's withdrawal from the SPD, Ramelow tweeted on Wednesday: "The Thuringian government is and remains with the R2G majority in the Landtag. Also in functional, administrative and territorial reform."

Particular attention has been paid in local media to Roisin making her decision directly before a CDU press conference on Wednesday in which faction chief Mike Mohring planned to present his mid-term balance of the R2G coalition.

German daily, the "Ostthüringer Zeitung" wrote that Rosin's change to the Union had "an unsavory taste," since her husband, Richard Dewes, as former president of Thuringia's SPD, "failed with his idea of an alliance with the Left Party" and "is now among the sharpest critics of Red-Red-Green."

It was not immediately clear exactly when her membership with the conservative CDU will begin.

AfD scandals

Thuringia's state parliament has never been far from controversy in recent months. The CDU last year accused the SPD of no longer being legitimate after welcoming former member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) Oskar Helmerich to their ranks.

The AfD meanwhile is still deliberating the future of Thuringia AfD faction leader Björn Höcke after he described Berlin's Holocaust memorial in January as a "monument of shame."

Read more: Germany's right-wing AfD seeks to expel state leader over Holocaust remarks

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