Frankfurt’s mayor Feldmann was under a lot of pressure recently. So far he had defied all calls for his resignation – even from his own ranks. Now he wants to resign, but not immediately.

The Lord Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, has announced his retirement for early 2023. The SPD politician, who has been accused of corruption, announced in Frankfurt that he would apply next January to end his term of office at the end of the month.

“I would like to save the city of Frankfurt an agonizing and expensive voting procedure – and take the opportunity to bring my official business to a proper conclusion after more than ten years. I will hand over an orderly house,” he explained. Feldmann was first elected mayor of the largest city in Hesse in 2012 and was confirmed in office for a further six years in 2018.

The 63-year-old has been charged in connection with the Awo affair and had also noticed other slip-ups in the past few weeks. Recently, Feldmann’s own party, the SPD, had even called for his resignation. And the city council actually wanted to decide on the deselection procedure in the coming week.

Frankfurt’s SPD boss: “Right decision”

Frankfurt’s SPD leader Mike Josef described the announced withdrawal as the “right decision”. Feldmann’s announcement let the city breathe a sigh of relief, said Yanki Pürsün, leader of the FDP Roman faction. “Now there is an opportunity for a fresh start.” The Greens in Romans welcomed the fact that the mayor had come to the conclusion: “Better late than never.” The Volt Group also spoke of a “step in the right direction”.

According to the CDU parliamentary group leader Nils Kößler, Feldmann’s statement raises more questions than it answers. In particular, the mayor is not aware of any right to request the end of his term of office at the end of the month. “From the point of view of the CDU, the deselection procedure planned by the parliamentary groups in the city parliament must now be initiated. That’s what the coalition has agreed and we can’t waste any time.”

In March, the Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office brought charges based on reasonable suspicion of accepting an advantage. Feldmann’s wife is said to have received a salary in excess of the collective agreement as the head of an Awo-Kita “without any objective reason”, as it was said. In addition, the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Awo) supported Feldmann in the 2018 election campaign by raising donations. In return, he wanted to “benevolently consider” the interests of Awo Frankfurt. At the end of May, the district court in Frankfurt approved the indictment, so Feldmann has to go to court. Dates for this have not yet been set.

Feldman denies the allegations. Despite ever-louder calls for his resignation, he remained undeterred and remained in office, but the pressure kept mounting.

Sexist saying and irritation at Eintracht celebration

Most recently, the OB had triggered several shaking of the head. A video with a sexist saying by Feldmann appeared. In addition, the mayor caused irritation at the celebration of Eintracht Frankfurt’s European Cup victory in the Römer, among other things, when he took the trophy out of the hand of Eintracht captain Sebastian Rode and coach Oliver Glasner in order to advance towards the Kaisersaal, which many considered selfish and rated complacently.

Feldmann himself regretted his appearance at the party, and he also apologized for his saying on the plane. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga club let Feldmann know that the mayor was no longer welcome in the stadium.

The 1.6 million euros that a voting procedure would cost are “better invested with the people in this city,” emphasized SPD leader Josef on Tuesday. Whether it comes to that is a decision of the parliamentary groups. Personally, he was also relieved by the mayor’s decision, who is currently in Vietnam and was therefore not available for questions on Tuesday.