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The PDS Votes on its Name (July 23, 2005)
To protest the labor market and social welfare reforms called for in Gerhard Schröder’s “Agenda 2010,” frustrated SPD members and trade unionists in the West founded the Wahlalternative für Arbeit und soziale Gerechtigkeit [WASG or the Electoral Alternative for Labor and Social Justice] as an association in 2004 and as a political party in January 2005. Former SPD chairman Oskar Lafontaine joined the WASG in late May 2005. Soon thereafter, Gregor Gysi, the top PDS candidate, announced that he wanted his party to cooperate with the WASG. In June 2005, the two parties agreed to run together in the upcoming Bundestag elections and to merge into a single party by 2007. As a result, the PDS renamed itself the Left Party/PDS in July 2005. This photo shows party members voting on their new name at a meeting of the Bavarian PDS in Ingolstadt on July 23, 2005. Thereafter, this regional branch called itself the Bavarian chapter of the Left Party/PDS. Photo: Frank Leonhardt.