Eco-centric animal rights parties win in elections in Germany and Portugal

20 oktober 2021

Last month’s local and regional elections in Germany resulted in a historic win for the German Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz. Meanwhile it’s Portuguese sister party PAN – Pessoas-Animais-Natureza also achieved unprecedented growth. A clear sign that voters no longer accept the inaction and failing policies of the larger, established parties on the protection of animals, biodiversity and the environment, according to the German Tierschutz-party.

Members of the German Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz protesting against livestock industry.

In Germany, where local and regional elections were held alongside federal elections, the Tierschutz-party achieved the best electoral results ever since its foundation in 1993. With 1.5% of all votes and a total number of nearly 700.000 votes, it almost doubled compared to previous local elections in 2017 and showed steady growth since European elections in 2019. Nine new representatives were elected into four district councils, and the party can now rightly call itself ‘the largest smaller party, and the strongest extra-parliamentarian opposition party’.

“We will continue to put pressure and to offer constructive solutions for people, animals and the environment,” the party states. “The stronger we get, the more pressure we will put on the established parties to pursue more social, more climate- and animal friendly policies!”

Members of the Portuguese political party PAN rallying for animal rights during the national animal rights march earlier this year.

Meanwhile in Portugal, sister party PAN nearly quadrupled the number of elected representatives in parish assemblies (subdivisions of municipalities). On a municipal level, the party also gained more votes than in the previous local elections in 2017. It was newly elected into several municipal assemblies while consolidating its representation in others, including major cities such as Lisboa, Porto and Faro. With representatives in national parliament and local assemblies, the party firmly puts animal rights, social issues, nature and the environment on the political agenda – both within the political arena and out on the streets.

Both parties are part of a growing international movement of activist political parties, bringing an eco-centric and planet-wide view into politics and urging established parties to recognize the true size and urgency of the multiple crisis we are facing today. With the German Tierschutz-party being the first animal rights party ever to be erected and the Dutch Party for the Animals being worldwide first in getting elected to national parliament, the movement now comprises over twenty sister parties across continents.