( dpa )- Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, re-entered the political fray Monday after an absence of two years to campaign for his Greens Party ahead of elections in the western state of Hesse .
Fischer flayed the incumbent premier, Christian Democrat (CDU) politician Roland Koch, for what he termed "xenophobia" in a hotly- fought campaign that culminates in elections on Sunday.
The electorate should punish Koch for basing his campaign on a call for more severe punishment for youthful offenders, in particular those of foreign origin, Fischer said.
"A premier like this needs to be voted out of office," the rhetorically gifted Fischer said.
Greens European Parliament member Daniel Cohn- Bendit , a personal friend of the former foreign minister, said Fischer had returned to politics as a direct result of Koch's campaign.
" Joschka simply got angry at Koch's ugly campaign," he said.
Fischer lost office following the September 2005 elections that saw Angela Merkel take over as CDU chancellor from the Social Democrat (SPD) leader Gerhard Schroeder.
Although he retained his parliamentary mandate for a year, he said little in public and spent much of his time as a visiting professor in the United States.
Koch faces a strong challenge from the SPD in Sunday's elections, although polls show the SPD would be unlikely to be able to form a government with its preferred partner, the Greens.