Alternative for Germany rightly identified as ‘possibly right-wing extremist’

right-wing extremist

This article was last updated on May 13, 2024

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Alternative for Germany rightly identified as ‘possibly right-wing extremist’

The German security service Federal Defense Agency may characterize the political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) as ‘possibly right-wing extremist’. The judge decided that. AfD appealed against an earlier ruling, but the court in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia did not agree.

In 2021, the security service labeled the party as ‘possibly right-wing extremist’. AfD objected to this in 2022. The party called the label contrary to the constitution and European regulations.

“There is sufficient evidence that the AfD is pursuing a course against democracy and the human dignity of some population groups,” the judge ruled. The court also says it has evidence that at least part of the party wants to designate Germans with a migration background as second-class citizens.

Security services

The ruling makes it easier for German security services to track party members and investigate whether the AfD is making plans that run counter to democracy. This ruling also gives them more powers to recruit informants within the party. In exceptional cases, AfD members may be tapped.

At the end of last year, the party was discredited because of a secret conference where the mass deportation of non-Western migrants living in Germany. The AfD denied that there was talk of mass deportations at the time. A parliamentarian made it clear that foreigners should return to their country of birth. “With millions. That is not a secret plan. That is a promise,” AfD member René Spinger said at the time.

Germany correspondent Chiem Balduk:

“The AfD has done everything it can to get rid of the label. For example, during the objection procedure, three party members with a migration background were put forward as proof that they feel safe within the party. The party also came up with all kinds of objections, complaints about alleged bias of the judges and requests for postponement. But all to no avail.

The main question now is whether and when the BfV will definitively label the party as right-wing extremist. This would come at a sensitive time: one month before the European Parliament elections, and later this year in three eastern German states. In addition, the AfD is declining in the polls and several party members are becoming members suspected of espionage for Russia and China. Conversely, AfD supporters can see this case as proof of the conspiracy that the German government wants to silence the party.

Although the debate about a ban on the party will also flare up again, that is not very likely. An attempt to ban a small neo-Nazi party failed in 2017; such a procedure will be even more complicated for the much larger AfD.

Alternative für Deutschland is particularly popular in a number of states in eastern Germany. In other parts of the country, popularity is declining slightly.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is pleased with the court’s ruling. “This statement shows that we are a resilient democracy.”

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