Left Menu
Development News Edition

Germany's far-right AfD eyes path to government with new leaders


Germany's far-right AfD eyes path to government with new leaders
Representative image

Hundreds of people rallied on Saturday in protest against the far-right Alternative for Germany in the western German city of Brunswick where the AfD gathered to elect new leaders.

Riot police fenced off the Volkswagen Halle sports venue hosting some 550 AfD delegates to keep leftist protesters waving rainbow flags and banners reading "Against the AfD and its incitement" from reaching the building. Party co-leader Alexander Gauland said in an opening speech that the AfD's goal was to move from the opposition to the government, at least at the regional level.

The AfD is the biggest opposition party in the Bundestag national parliament, which it entered for the first time in 2017, propelled by voters angry at conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision in 2015 to admit almost one million mainly Muslim asylum seekers. The AfD also sits on opposition benches in all of Germany's 16 state parliaments, where it is ostracised by all established parties, including Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

"They call us Nazis, fascists and right-wing terrorists," said Gauland. "But we need to be wise and resilient. The day will come when a weakened CDU has only one option: us." Merkel's conservatives have said they cannot work with the party, saying its anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic rhetoric contributes to an atmosphere of hate that encourages political violence.

Gauland, 78 and seen as a unifying figure in the AfD, has indicated he might run again for the leadership if he doubts the quality of the candidates. His leadership partner, European Parliament lawmaker Joerg Meuthen, who is seeking re-election, echoed aspirations to prepare the party for a possible role in government.

"We need to make ourselves ready to govern," said Meuthen. "It is not going to happen in 2019 or 2020. But is going to happen." The party has said it wants to continue with the co-leadership model.

Tino Chrupalla, a lawmaker from the eastern state of Saxony, is the candidate favored by senior AfD members. He also has the backing of Bjoern Hoecke, AfD leader in the eastern state of Thuringia who leads a radical wing within the party that is under surveillance by the domestic intelligence agency for possible unconstitutional activities. "If we want more success we need to change," Chrupalla said on Friday during a reception. "We want to move toward the center. This will work because the CDU keeps moving to the left."

The AfD won around a fourth of votes in elections in three eastern states this year. The party is more popular in formerly Communist eastern states, with double the support that it has in the west of the country. Chrupalla's main challenger is lawmaker Gottfried Curio, a physicist, and musician, whose rhetoric against Muslims has turned him into a YouTube star with almost 52,000 followers.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

WEF2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

Videos

Latest News

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren orders SIT investigation in Chaibasa murders

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday ordered for Special Investigation Team SIT probe into the killing of seven people who were allegedly murdered in Burugulikera village of Chaibasa for staging a protest against the Pathalgad...

Putin says Russia has to remain strong presidential republic

Russia must remain a strong presidential republic, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday when asked about a possible transitional period once he steps down in 2024.Last week Putin proposed constitutional changes that would give him sco...

"It's the pension, stupid!" Retirement row ignites Irish election

Longstanding plans to increase Irelands statutory retirement age and the knock-on effects on pension payments have become an unexpected issue ahead of the Feb. 8 election, putting the government on the back foot.Prime Minister Leo Varadkar ...

UPDATE 1-Global deal over digital tax eludes France, U.S. in Davos talks

France and the United States failed on Wednesday to agree how to push forward a global rewrite of decades-old cross-border tax rules though they agreed to set aside a bilateral row on digital taxation, Frances finance minister said on Wedne...

Give Feedback