Aminatta Touré was on Wednesday (28 August) elected the new Vice-President of the state parliament (Landtag) of Schleswig-Holstein. She received 46 of the 69 valid votes cast. Schleswig-Holstein is one of the 16 states of Germany and its capital city is Kiel.
The 26-year-old Green party member, who is the second youngest member of parliament, said she was “fully relieved and happy” about the vote of confidence in her. She would be clear in her management of the parliament’s proceedings and would not prematurely interrupt debates.
“I will carry out my role as Vice-President impartially, very clearly and democratically. As a Member of the Parliament, I will continue to work as I have done so far: addressing and criticizing things clearly,” Touré said, giving indications of her leadership style.
Touré was born and raised in Neumünster. Her parents had fled Mali in 1991 to seek political asylum in Germany. She studied Political Science at the University of Kiel and French Philology at the Christian Albrecht University. Touré was elected into the state parliament two years ago and has repeatedly attracted national media attention with her speeches on migration and women issues.
Touré’s election as Vice-President of Schleswig-Holstein’s parliament marks a historic event in the participation of people of African descent in German politics. She is the first Black person to hold such a high position in the country.
Her election follows that of Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, also a member of the Green Party, who was elected into the European parliament in June, the first German of African origin to sit in the European parliament.
Touré, a confident and brilliant orator, has been described as the woman changing the face of German politics and many are already predicting that she’s only just started her climb of the country’s political ladder.