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Politics

Pirate Party congress opens in Neumarkt

The congress of Germany’s Pirate Party has begun in Bavaria ahead of federal elections in September. After choosing Katharina Nocun as its top candidate, the party must now hash out its political manifesto.

During the three-day congress in the northern Bavarian city of Neumarkt, the Pirate Party will finalize its political manifesto for the September federal elections.

Over the weekend, the Pirates are set to discuss their stance on issues such as civil rights on the Internet, transparency, democracy and foreign policy.

Johannes Ponader, the Pirates' political director, officially stepped down at the beginning of the congress. "Today I give back to you, the congress, the office that I filled for a good twelve months," the 36-year-old said to the some 1,000 congress participants. Ponader said he would continue to be active in the party as a normal pirate.

Ponader had disagreed with party chief Bernd Schlömer repeatedly about the right course for the federal election and said he was resigning to "ease conflicts on the board."

In light of Ponader's resignation congress participants elected Katharina Nocun, 26, as the party's new political director and top candidate. Congress participants chose the online editor and business computer science student with 81.7 percent of the vote.
In a speech to the congress, Nocun said the party must once again work as a team - and this time even harder - to win representation in the Bundestag.

The Pirate Party is currently represented in four state parliaments but has not been able to crack the 5 percent threshold to be represented in the Bundestag.

The party's core issues revolve around Internet policy. Its members support data protection, freedom of the Internet, stand for greater transparency in public administration and government and demand more possibilities for civic activism - especially via the Internet.

hc/kms (AFP, dpa)

DW.DE