Conservatives and plants in West German parliament
If Tuesday's election in the West German Bundestag is any indication, the governing coalition will not be able to ignore the vocal Greens. Chancellor Helmut Kohl won reaffirma-tion by the newly elected Bonn parliament, but only after the freshman Greens delayed the election briefly with procedural muscle flexing.
Votes taken during the election of officers for this 10th Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, showed that the 27 Greens have secret sympathizers in some of the other parties. The environmentalist party attempted four times to make one of its deputies a vice-president of the Bundestag, winning the support of up to a dozen members from other parties.
The Greens also used procedural motions to delay matters, so that Kohl's election actually took place 90 minutes behind schedule. The delaying tactics did nothing to diminish the size of the parliamentary majority Kohl's coalition of Christian Democrats and Liberals won in the March 6 election.
Dr. Kohl was reelected chancellor by a vote of 271 to 214 with one abstention - 21 more than needed for election on the first ballot.
The chancellor said that with but two exceptions, he would keep the Cabinet he appointed when he ousted Social Democrat Helmut Schmidt in October and led the Christian Democrats back into office for the first time since 1969.
One of the new men is the minister for food and agriculture, a Bavarian dairyman named Ignaz Kiechle who spent almost a year in the United States in 1949 working on farms on the East Coast to study American farm management.
The Greens in West Germany are the first ecological group to be elected to any national parliament, and it made a splashy initiation.
Instead of joining the other parties in traditional church services Tuesday morning, they marched through the capital carrying flowers and small trees as symbols of their respect for the environment, and held their own investiture during which US-educated deputy, Petra Kelly, promised that she ''will never betray'' those who elected her.
Some Green deputies carried tiny potted pine saplings into the Bundestag chamber and placed them on their desks. A spokesman said each had been selected because it had sprouted through a cemented or asphalted surface, as the Green politicians hoped to sprout through the crust of the parliamentary establishment.
Several Green parliamentarians wore huge badges urging the boycott of the April 27 national census, and one said the party will attempt to force an urgent debate on the matter before the Easter recess. It could be the first issue in which the 27 Greens and the 193 Social Democrats join forces in opposition to Kohl's government.