Manuela Schwesig resigns because of a cancer illness from her office as provisional SPD chairwoman. She wants to stay Prime Minister in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The 45-year-old is confident that she will recover.

Manuela Schwesig

Manuela Schwesig:

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig has breast cancer and therefore resigns as acting SPD boss.

This was announced at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday in Schwerin, as the State Chancellery announced. The Office of the Prime Minister and also the SPD presidency in Mecklenburg 

Vorpommern but they want to continue to exercise, said the 45-year-old. Schwesig is one of three acting SPD federal chairmen.

Together with Malu Dreyer and Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel she wanted to lead the party until the planned election of a leading duo in December.

Since Schäfer-Gümbel will retire from politics on October 1 and change to the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ),

Dreyer wants to lead the SPD from October as sole transitional chairman until the election of new party leadership.

Schwesig wants to focus on family and health:

Schwesig stressed, "The good news is this cancer is curable. However, this requires medical treatment.

"This will mean that she will not be able to hold public appointments on all days in the coming months.

She is very confident that she will recover completely. "However, it is also clear that in the coming months I have to concentrate my energies on Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, my health and my family.

Therefore, I will resign my party offices at the federal level, "said Schwesig. In a personal statement, she said the diagnosis had deeply affected her and her family.

Many of them showed that a courageous approach to this disease, therapy and work were compatible. 

"I have had some battles in my life and I will fight this as well." Her medical treatment was predominantly outpatient.

In the rush to the first row of politics:

Schwesig thanked the press for their sympathy and support. And even if she talks openly about breast cancer, more details on how to deal with it or how the family handles it is a private matter.

Schwesig had worked its way through the first ten years of German politics in the past ten years.

After only four years as a city representative in Schwerin, she became in 2008 - just 34 years old - Social Affairs Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 2013 then Federal Minister of the Family.

After only six years of party affiliation, Schwesig had become the party's hopefuls in the East German SPD in 2009.

Schwesig took over offices of Erwin Selling

In summer 2017, she gave up her ministry in Berlin prematurely and took over from the then cancer-affected Erwin Selling (SPD) at his request, the Prime Minister's Office.

But even in her new role, the now 45-year-old remained active in the federal state and appeared primarily as an advocate for the interests of East Germans in appearance.

Schwesig was born in 1974 in Frankfurt (Oder). In the state of Brandenburg, she also spent her childhood, passed her high school diploma and completed her studies as a Diplom-Finanzwirt.

In 2000 she moved to Schwerin after her marriage, where she now lives with her husband and two children. 

Most recently, the Hessian Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) after a skin cancer therapy had publicly considered a premature resignation. Also, the CDU state chairman in Thuringia, Mike Mohring, had to fight with cancer.

Recovery wishes for Schwesig

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) reacted with dismay to the news of cancer. 

"I talked to her on the phone and wished that she would be completely well again, with strength and confidence in this difficult time", Merkel explained about her speaker Steffen Seibert.

CDU National Chairman Vincent Kokert wished her all the best in the fight against cancer, all the best and God's blessing. "In the face of such news, politics has to take a back seat."

The chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Thomas Krüger, expressed his respect for dealing with Schwesig with the bad news.

"It sets the requirements of the country over their concerns and has announced to continue the office of the Prime Minister."

That she still needs to step down at any point and assigns tasks in the federal party, is a matter of course.

The best wishes on behalf of all faction employees and "a lot of strength and confidence in the fight against the disease" came from the Leader of the left-wing group, Simone Oldenburg.

"Despite all political differences, we hope that Mrs Schwesig will soon be able to fill the office of Prime Minister again with full force," said David Wulff, Secretary-General of the FDP.

So, Thuringia CDU state chairman Mike Mohring hopes for recovery. "I heartily wish you recovery on the exhausting road there, strength and confidence, a light on dark days and if I may, God's abundant blessing."

The AfD thus expressed its regret over the "tragic cancer diagnosis" and expressed a desire for a speedy and complete recovery.

Personal explanation of Schwesig's cancer:

The Schwerin State Chancellery has published the following statement:

At the beginning of today's Cabinet meeting, Minister-President Manuela Schwesig informed ministers that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The good news is this cancer is curable. However, this is a medical treatment that is necessary "said Schwesig.

That's why I decided to continue to serve as prime minister and therefore as the party chair here in the country, "Schwesig continued.

However, it is clear that in the coming months, I want to concentrate my energies on Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, my health and my family.

Therefore, I want to resign my party offices at the federal level," said Schwesig.


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