Bad election results, resignations, allegations of sexism and abuse: According to ex-boss Gregor Gysi, the left is in an existential crisis. He wants to change that.

Former Left Chairman Gregor Gysi is planning an initiative to save his party. A renewal of content and personnel is necessary, said Gysi of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

The 74-year-old ruled out his own candidacy as party or faction leader. But he also said: “I will not let any party down in the crisis.” He takes on “a certain responsibility without a function.”

After very bad results in the federal elections and the most recent state elections in Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, according to Gysi, the left is in an existential crisis.

“We have to determine our positions on key issues and represent them together,” emphasized Gysi. “For me, this includes peace politics, social justice and good work, the Eastern identity and the combination of ecological sustainability with social security as well as equality between women and men.”

The party itself must prove what it is needed for, said Gysi. “And we have to make it clear which interests we represent, namely those of employees and trainees first, and then those of students, the unemployed, the homeless, refugees, freelancers and small companies. This also includes medium-sized companies.”

It is important that the parliamentary group also function as a team. One problem at the moment is that different opinions of left-wing politicians appear to be of equal value in public.

Most recently, the resignation of co-chair Susanne Hennig-Wellsow and allegations of sexism and abuse had shaken the party. At the end of June, the entire top leadership is to be re-elected at a party conference in Erfurt. It is not yet publicly known who will compete.