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AfD-backed politician to make €93,000 for single day in job

Jenipher Camino Gonzalez
February 6, 2020

Thomas Kemmerich submitted his "unavoidable" resignation, after the far-right AfD helped him become state premier of Thuringia. But for his 24 hours in the job, he stands to receive a minimum sum for a six-month tenure.

Thomas Kemmerich in a news conference
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Schutt

Thomas Kemmerich, the former premier of the eastern state of Thuringia, who announced his resignation on Thursday, could cash in on his 24-hour tenure, according to a report by German news outlet Redaktions Netzwerk Deutschland (RND).

Kemmerich, a member of the free-market liberal Free Democrats (FDP), shocked the nation when he was elected state premier of Thuringia aided by votes from far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The AFD has been shunned by all other main political parties in Germany, who refuse to work with it.

Read more: What's happened in Thuringia, and why the outcry?

The outcry was felt nationwide and included Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that Kemmerich's election represented a "bad day for democracy.” Under pressure, the FDP leader said his resignation was unavoidable. 

One day on the job automatically entitles Kemmerich — who will act as caretaker premier until a new leader is chosen — to a full month's pay.

In Thuringia, the state premier's base monthly salary is €16,617 ($18,250).

Additionally, he will receive a work allowance of €766 and, because the former premier is married, RND found he could also take home a family allowance of €153. In total, Kemmerich is set to make some €17,536 for his first month.

But that is not all that he is entitled to for having spent a day at the helm. According to the law in Thuringia, cited by RND, Kemmerich is entitled to a transitional allowance for a minimum of six months.

This would be paid in full for the first three months and in half for the last three. 

Read more: Opinion: A disgrace for Germany

In total, the disgraced former premier's brief tenure could make him eligible for €93,004.

Whether or not Kemmerich is slated to receive the six-month payments has not been clear, but until a new person is on the job, he will remain eligible to receive it.

The one thing the FDP leader will not be able to cash in will be a pension. For that, according to Thuringia's law, the politician would have to serve two years on the job.

Following Kemmerich's resignation, his party has called for snap elections. A two-thirds majority in parliament would be required for that to take place.

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