Berlin. The Brandenburg state and faction leader Andreas Kalbitz is no longer a member of the AfD. As the German press agency learned from party circles, a majority of the federal executive voted on Friday to annul its membership. According to consistent media reports, seven members voted for the exclusion, five voted against. A member of the board abstained.
Party spokesman Bastian Behrens confirmed the expulsion to the AFP news agency. From the point of view of the federal executive board, Kalbitz had not become an effective party member, “which is why membership is no longer valid.” The decision stated that membership was terminated with immediate effect, “because of the concealment of membership in the” Heimattreuen Deutsche Jugend “(HDJ) and” because of the non-declaration of membership “among the Republicans between late 1993 and early 1994.
Kalbitz announced after the announcement of the decision to take legal action against the party exclusion. The two AfD parliamentary group leaders in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, criticized the decision. The decision was wrong and also legally contestable.
With his decision, the board followed an application from party leader Jörg Meuthen. This had demanded that the AfD management committee decide on a possible cancellation of membership. Co-chair Tino Chrupalla and party vice Weidel, on the other hand, had suggested that a statement submitted by Kalbitz be legally examined first. The party executive had instructed Kalbitz in March to provide written information on previous club memberships and possible contacts in the extreme right-wing spectrum.
Kalbitz then wrote a statement in which he conceded that he considered it “quite possible and likely” that he would be on a “list of interested parties or contacts” of those who had since been banned in connection with attending an event organized by the German Youth (HDJ) Organization was listed. The HDJ is on the AfD’s so-called incompatibility list. Anyone who is a member of one of the organizations listed there, or has previously belonged to it, cannot be a member of the AfD.
From Kalbitz’s past, new links to the far-right camp have gradually become known over the past few years. Kalbitz was at a Pentecostal camp of the HDJ in 2007. From the end of 2014, he was chairman of the »Archive of the Times« association, which was co-founded by a former SS main assault leader.
Several AfD officials from eastern Germany had demonstratively stood behind Kalbitz on Friday morning. “Andreas Kalbitz is one of our most successful campaigners,” said Saxon Bundestag member Siegbert Droese of the German Press Agency. So it would be wrong to forego it. In view of the corona pandemic, it is unfortunate “that we are so concerned with ourselves in this difficult phase.”
The chairman of the AfD parliamentary group in Saxony-Anhalt, Oliver Kirchner, had stated on Facebook: »Anyone seriously considering removing Andreas Kalbitz from the party will remove the backbone and the cutting edge that party so urgently needs from this party . «
Kalbitz joined the AfD in its founding phase in spring 2013. The rise of the native of Munich, who only moved to the east years after the turn, took place for a long time in the shadow of today’s Bundestag faction leader Gauland and Björn Höcke. He has been a member of the Potsdam Landtag since October 2014. In April 2017 he inherited Gauland as the AfD state chair in Brandenburg, and since the end of 2017 he has been the parliamentary group leader. Agencies / nd