The opposition threatens Wust with a commission of inquiry

The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wust (KDM) is participating in the session of the state parliament. © photo alliance/dpa

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The SPD is threatening North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Hendrik Wust (CDU) with a commission of inquiry in the state parliament. Its background is open questions about “the disaster around the A45 bridge around Lüdenscheid,” opposition leader Thomas Kutchati (SPD) said in Düsseldorf on Wednesday.

Wust will be asked at a special session of Parliament’s transport committee on Monday about what role he played as a former transport minister in the delayed decisions to build the Rahmede Viaduct.

The bridge had to be closed in December 2021 due to damage. An important traffic pulse has been stopped. Detour traffic burdens an entire region. However, it was known years ago that there were flaws.

Last week Wust said. “The decision not to repair the bridge, not to repair it, but to wait for a new one, was made in 2014, and from today’s perspective, it was a mistake.” At the same time. He denied the suspicion that he interfered in the decisions regarding the Autobahn bridge. Wust was the Minister of Transport in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2017-2021.

“We won’t let Hendrik Wust get away with it”

“We have great expectations from Hendrik Wust’s announcements,” said Kutchati. In addition to the question of whether the former Minister of Transport bears political responsibility for delaying the construction of the necessary new bridge, there are also incomplete files regarding the complex.

If the prime minister fails to dispel all doubts on Monday, it is possible that the investigative committee will have to give clarifications. Here, officials have the right to request cases and question witnesses themselves. “We will not allow Hendrik Wust to get away like that,” Kuchati emphasized.

The FDP also indirectly launched a commission of inquiry. Kushati said his parliamentary group is in close consultation with the FDP on the matter. At least 20 percent of the members of the state parliament must agree to the creation of the investigative committee. That would be 39 out of 195 members. The SPD with its 56 mandates will already secure the quorum on its own. The AfD has already asked for a commission of inquiry.

Elfriede Sauerwein-Braxiek, director of Autobahn GmbH, was also invited to the extraordinary meeting of the transport commission. In their application for the meeting, the CDU and the Greens claimed that Autobahn GmbH has been in possession of Rahmede’s commuter rail project files since January 2021. Cuchati said that the responsibility should obviously be shifted here.


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