Sahra Wagenknecht and Dietmar Bartsch announced at a joint press conference in Berlin, Tuesday that they have been elected new Parliamentary group leaders of Die Linke (Left Party), after veteran German MP Gregor Gysi resigned earlier on the same day. Bartsch told the press that both he and Wagenknecht "will tackle this task with vigour and confidence." He continued, "I believe, in being deputy leaders in the past two years, we have proven that we can reflect exactly what the party wants, namely a plural character for our party and Parliamentary group. And at the same time advance the Parliamentary group." Wagenknecht underlined that the emphasis lies on the party's task as a member of the opposition. "It is very important for Die Linke to continue to raise its voice in the Bundestag, because momentarily if you look at how the grand coaliotion is operating, you can basically see every day how urgent [the need for] opposition is," she said. Gysi has been an elected representative since 1990 and in that time garnered a reputation as one of the most eloquent opposition speakers in the reunified German parliament. His frequent criticisms of the foreign policy and fiscal conservatism of Chancellor Angela Merkel's current coalition government have proved particularly popular among many Germans in the age of social media. Gysi will continue to serve as a Die Linke MP and said he is looking forward to "another phase" of his political life.
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