AfD federal party conference may take place: Not nice, but right

It cannot be ruled out that the AfD party congress will become a superspreading event. Nevertheless, it is correct that the city of Kalkar has now approved it.

Inside the party under attack: AfD boss Jörg Meuthen Photo: dpa

The city of Kalkar has approved that the AfD’s federal party conference can be held at the fair there on the last weekend in November. Despite Corona and shutdown light. You can find that terrible because you consider the AfD to be right-wing extremists anyway, want stricter corona regulations or fear that the party congress could become a superspreading event.

In principle, however, it is right that ministries and authorities check very carefully what is prohibited because of the pandemic. Parties are an important part of democracy and are therefore under special protection and have special rights – even in times of pandemic. This applies to all parties that are not prohibited. So also for the AfD. Nevertheless, one does not have to like the fact that of all people, the party that likes to agitate against the allegedly depraved party democracy now benefits particularly from it. But that is also part of democracy.

It is still wrong that the party congress is now likely to take place. Because, of course, a two-day meeting in a closed room, to which 600 delegates and 150 journalists could travel, assumes an increased risk of infection. Especially because a good number of corona skeptics will come together in Kalkar who think little of protective measures.

It is only logical that the AfD is proceeding differently from the CDU, the Greens and the Left, who have either postponed their party conventions or hold online. After all, the party is fighting the corona measures, and many AfD members have doubts about the danger of the virus or even deny its existence. For a long time, the party, which has lost the mobilization issue, has been trying to dock with the corona skeptic movement – so far without much success. With the party congress, staged as a resistance, but it could score points in this milieu.

It was not without reason that party leader Jörg Meuthen recently announced that he wanted to apply for approval for the party congress if necessary. The city of Kalkar has now taken this opportunity from the AfD to make it public. The fact that the party now wants to take legal action against the mask requirement at the square, which is part of the necessary requirements, should also have something to do with it.

The federal meeting is also an important sign within the party. The exclusion from the party of right-wing extremist Andreas Kalbitz has built up a lot of resentment against part of the AfD leadership. If this part of party leader Meuthen and Vice Beatrix von Storch were in favor of another postponement, it would look like cowardly ducking away. Especially since Meuthen cannot prevail with his original position in the content-related part of the event, the adoption of a pension concept. And the other part is hoping for a settlement anyway.

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Pegida demo with Kalbitz on November 9th: Dresden is going wrong

Administrations have a leeway in granting the freedom to demonstrate. Dresden deliberately did not use it.

A parade of the right-wing Pegida on November 9th is actually out of the question Photo: dpa

This November 9th was a setback for Dresden. In the past few years, the city had defended itself against its occupation by apocalyptists and hate preachers with increasing qualifications. It is already logically impossible to see why the city administration is not holding its own celebration on this multiple German day of remembrance for reasons of pandemic protection, but is reluctant to give Pegida such a reason in order to at least marginalize a registered demonstration.

Administrations have a leeway between granting the freedom of assembly and demonstration and sending political signals. The initiative “Heart instead of agitation” reminds us that this was already used in 2015 – namely against them. The counter-protest of 6,000 Dresden residents was “discredited and ordered away”, explains the alliance. With good will and a little skill, it would have been possible to at least take the lead from the symbolic appearance of the nationalist Andreas Kalbitz on that day.

It’s not really a consolation that this gig itself wasn’t worth the fuss. The tirades by Bachmann and Kalbitz are so outrageous and exclusively addressed to dull feelings of hatred and fear that anyone can actually only turn away in disgust. Everyone except the pegidists, apparently.

The city permit must now be processed critically, demands Thomas Feist, government commissioner for Jewish life in Saxony. The decision of the Saxon Higher Administrative Court on the Leipzig lateral thinking demo, which was issued two days earlier, may have played a role for Dresden. Such granting of an abstract right of assembly at any price is now being questioned, especially when, as is now the case in the pandemic, it collides with the basic right to physical integrity.

The Saxon Assembly Act makes at least the tentative attempt to restrict the unconditional right to demonstrate at very few neuralgic points and sensitive dates in the year. A toothless tiger since 2012, but it at least indicates the possible legal scope.

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Right-wing extremist Pegida demo in Dresden: hatred and agitation instead of commemoration

Dresden causes horror: Pegida was allowed to demonstrate on the anniversary of the pogrom night in 1938. Commemorative events, however, were canceled.

Meanwhile, his own followers are bored too: right-wing extremist and Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann Photo: dpa

DRESDEN taz | Even the appearance of right-wing extremist Andreas Kalbitz from the AfD “wing”, which has now (at least officially) been dissolved, is no longer suitable as a revival of Pegida. The police secured the 223rd “evening walk” on Dresden’s Altmarkt with 250 officers, and they didn’t have many more Pegida supporters to protect.

The fact that the city gave the central square to the agitators and right-wing extremists on November 9, of all things – the day of Pogrom Night 1938, when the mob set synagogues on fire across Germany, looted Jewish shops and murdered Jews, had caused general outrage.

The Dresden city administration had canceled its official memorial event due to the corona crisis. Lord Mayor Dirk Hilbert (FDP) and State Parliament President Matthias Rößler (CDU) only met in a small group with representatives of the Dresden Jewish community in the late afternoon. This community had previously reacted to the Pegida announcement “with great disbelief and indignation”. It should not go unchallenged, “that hatred and agitation can be spread again in public places in Dresden,” she explained.

During the night Thomas Feist, representative of the Saxon State Government for Jewish Life, confirmed this outrage and also criticized the city administration. He missed their sensitivity and their “recognizable claim to speak in advance with representatives of Jewish life about the possibility of preventing this”. Talk of “never again” should be reflected in the credible actions of the administration. The signal emanating from Dresden is now “devastating” beyond the city. Feist called on the city to “transparently deal with this wrong decision”.

Nothing new at Pegida

The day before, the “Heart instead of Hetze” alliance, which had organized successful mass protests against the Pegida anniversaries in recent years, had already reported similar experiences with the city leaders. The mayor had been contacted in advance with the aim of not allowing any racist events in the city center. A conversation that had already been terminated with the police and assembly authorities was canceled without giving any reason, reports spokeswoman Rita Kunert. The letter allows the conclusion that the cancellation was not due to the corona pandemic, she added.

About one hundred musicians and counter-demonstrators faced Pegida on Monday evening. The otherwise always present initiative “Nationalism out of the heads” had withdrawn its appeal this time in order to prevent large crowds and not to put anyone in danger. Instead, they wanted to protest individually.

Although the corona deniers from Leipzig were eagerly praised at Pegida, assembly requirements were adhered to on the Altmarkt. The little group of Pegida trailers also had enough space to expand. According to the police department, 76 of them allegedly showed exemptions from the mask requirement.

Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann tried on stage to deny the allegations that the commemoration of the pogrom night was perverted – not very convincing. Andreas Kalbitz also tried hard to conceal a condemnation of German crimes. On the stage he described the Holocaust as a “one-time breach of civilization”, but at the same time began to philosophize on a less comprehensible distinction between guilt and responsibility.

Otherwise, both only repeated the known attacks on “so-called refugees”, all of which were infiltrated by IS, or “national hostility towards the state”. The apocalyptic evocations of horror put forward by both of them about an impending expropriation and the “last legal Christmas” have long since worn out even at Pegida.

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Brandenburg AfD parliamentary group elects Berndt as chairman

WITHtwo months after Andreas Kalbitz resigned, the AfD parliamentary group in Brandenburg elected Hans-Christoph Berndt as its new chairman. The group announced this on Tuesday. Berndt succeeds Kalbitz, who resigned after being kicked out of the party in August. The party’s executive board revoked Kalbitz’s membership in May because it is said to have concealed contacts with the right-wing extremist milieu.

Berndt was only able to prevail in a third election run in a battle vote against the deputy parliamentary group leader Birgit Bessin and the parliamentary manager Dennis Hohloch. While Bessin and Hohloch are regarded as confidants of Kalbitz, Berndt had demanded the resignation of his rival Kalbitz when his connections to the right-wing extremist scene became known.

The AfD did not initially announce the exact result of the vote. The chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in Brandenburg’s state parliament, Jan Redmann, said that the Brandenburg AfD was a torn picture in view of the months-long hang-up on the question of Kalbitz’s succession. Instead of being involved in the matter, individual interests and clubbing dominated. With the election of Brandt, the party continues its völkisch-nationalist course.

The head of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Jörg Müller, described Berndt, like Kalbitz before, as a “proven right-wing extremist”. Berndt heads the “Zukunft Heimat” association, which is classified as right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Before the election, Berndt received support from the Thuringian party and parliamentary group chairman Björn Höcke, spokesman for the now-defunct right-wing national AfD “wing”.

The SPD parliamentary group chairman in Brandenburg, Erik Stohn, commented that the AfD had chosen Berndt for the most dangerous of three extreme candidates. He is specifically looking for closeness to actors from the area of ​​unbounded right-wing extremism such as the Pegida speaker Siegfried Däbritz. The parliamentary group leader of the Left, Sebastian Walter, said that with Berndt’s election, only two neo-Nazis changed chairs. The chairman of the Greens in Brandenburg, Petra Budke, said that Berndt had acted as an arsonist by hounding against refugees and Islam on the one hand and, on the other hand, as the health policy spokesman for his group at the height of the pandemic, repeatedly calling for the lifting of all corona measures .

In this context, Berndt also appeared as a speaker at anti-corona demonstrations. The studied biologist questions, among other things, whether people have died from the corona virus at all.

The AfD federal executive had revoked Kalbitz’s membership in May because he is said to have concealed earlier memberships with the right-wing extremist home-loyal German youth (HDJ) and the republicans when he was accepted. In August he was unsuccessful in an urgent application against the expulsion before the Berlin Regional Court. Shortly before, Kalbitz had withdrawn from the parliamentary group chairmanship, which he initially only wanted to leave pending the court decision.

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Azerbaijan criticizes AfD visit to Nagorno-Karabakh in a protest note

foreign countries Protestnote

Azerbaijan criticizes AfD visit to Nagorno-Karabakh

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A destroyed house in Stepanakert in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region

A destroyed house in Stepanakert in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

Several AfD MPs had traveled to the Nagorno-Karabakh war zone – Azerbaijan now sharply criticized the visit in a protest note. The men are members of a group that agitates for Armenia and are put on a “black list”.

AIn a protest note, serbaijan criticized the visit of several AfD MPs to the Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region in the South Caucasus. The members of the Bundestag Steffen Kotré and Stefan Keuter as well as the members of the state parliament Andreas Galau and Andreas Kalbitz had illegally visited the war zone “occupied by Armenia”, announced the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry in the capital Baku on Monday. The protest note goes to the German Bundestag and the Brandenburg state parliament. The four politicians had previously reported on their trip to the war zone on social networks.

The men were members of a group that agitated for Armenia, it said in the protest note. They would therefore be put on a “black list”, which would prohibit entry to Azerbaijan in future.

In this way, the ex-Soviet republic is also trying to prevent journalists who want to get an idea of ​​the situation from traveling to Nagorno-Karabakh. “These people stand out for their Nazi and anti-Semitic statements,” said the ministry’s letter.

Steffen Kotré published video from a destroyed church

Kalbitz, who had been denied party membership in May by the AfD federal executive board because of previous contacts with the right-wing extremist milieu, wrote on Facebook: “My solidarity goes to the Armenian people and their brave defenders, who also represent the fight of Christian cultural areas against Islamic expansion. “

also read

Nagorno-Karabakh / Martakert /// A group of soldiers is on the way near the front with Azerbaijan.

Kotré posted a video of himself in a destroyed church. “One thing is clear: the Azerbaijani and Turkish aggression must be stopped immediately,” he said. The politician said that they had been presented with NATO ammunition. This proves that Turkey is involved in the war as a NATO member. There is no official confirmation for this.

The two ex-Soviet republics have been fighting for decades for the mountainous region with around 145,000 inhabitants. Nagorno-Karabakh is controlled by Armenia, but under international law it belongs to the Islamic Azerbaijan. In a war that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union some 30 years ago, Azerbaijan lost control of the area. There has been a fragile ceasefire since 1994. Russia is considered to be the protecting power of Armenia.

also read

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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According to the protection of the constitution, radicals are gaining influence in the AfD


AfD country and parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke
Image: dpa

The right-wing extremist “wing” of the AfD has officially disbanded. But supporters of the group around Thuringia’s AfD boss Höcke are increasingly in key positions of the party, according to the protection of the constitution.

TDespite the formal dissolution of the right wing “wing” of the AfD, the protection of the Constitution sees an increasing influence of its previous supporters. “The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution perceives that many supporters of the right-wing extremist wing” are fighting for more influence in the party, although the ‘wing’ has allegedly dissolved itself, “said the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, the” Tagesspiegel ” from Sunday.

In internal party elections, supporters of the “wing” would hold key positions. “The influence of the ‘wing’ is growing, even if the AfD tries to remove clearly recognizable right-wing extremists such as the former ‘wing’ spokesman Andreas Kalbitz from the party.” There is still a great deal of solidarity within the former “wing” and an exchange. “The defining personality” is the Thuringian AfD country chief Björn Höcke.

The right-wing national “wing” around Thuringia’s AfD state and parliamentary group leader Höcke broke up at the end of April after pressure from the top of the federal government. The spokesman for the current was the former AfD state chairman Andreas Kalbitz from Brandenburg. In May, the AfD federal executive had revoked his party membership and justified this with previous contacts in the right-wing extremist milieu.

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SZ podcast “On the Point” – News from 01.10.2020 – Politics

There has been a lot going on in the AfD over the past few weeks: Starting with the dissolution of the right-wing extremist “wing”, the expulsion of Andreas Kalbitz from the party, the dissolution of the parliamentary groups in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein to the unsavory statements made by the former press spokesman for the Bundestag parliamentary group Christian Lüth .

Now party spokesman Jörg Meuthen has decided not to run for the Bundestag, thus avoiding a controversy with the rest of the party’s leadership team. Jens Schneider describes the relationship between Meuthen, Alexander Gauland, Alice Weidel and co-speaker Tino Chrupalla as bad. The SZ capital correspondent, however, warns against underestimating the AfD in next year’s general election.

Other topics: EU initiates legal action against Great Britain, Wirecard committee of inquiry, Wirt receives one million euros from insurance.

How to subscribe to our news podcast

“To the point” is the SZ news podcast with the most important topics of the day. The podcast always appears at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can find all episodes on sz.de/nachrichtenpodcast. Don’t miss an episode and subscribe to our audio offer, for example on: iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Audio Now or in your favorite podcast app. In this text we explain how you can listen to our podcasts. You can find all of our podcasts at: www.sz.de/podcast.

You have any questions or suggestions? Then write to us: podcast@sz.de.

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AfD dispute over Andreas Kalbitz: posted in the next round

The Berlin district court will advise on the cancellation of the AfD membership of Andreas Kalbitz on Friday. Support for him is crumbling.

The bald man who is currently independent: Andreas Kalbitz Photo: Soeren Stache / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

BERLIN taz | Andreas Kalbitz probably imagined it differently. Instead of bursting with strength, as the right-wing extremist likes to portray, he is weakened this Friday for the next round of his AfD membership. Civil Chamber 43 meets at 10 a.m. in room 0208/0209 of the Berlin Regional Court to discuss Kalbitz’s application for an injunction.

The bald head, who is currently independent from any party and who has long stood at Björn Höcke’s side at the head of the “wing”, wants to become a member of the AfD again, at least temporarily. And thus also Brandenburg’s state chief and assessor on the party’s federal executive committee. Until the regional court decides in the main proceedings whether the cancellation of his membership was legal. Which can take many months. It is questionable, however, whether a victory in the Kalbitz district court will really bring back his old position of power in the AfD. But first things first, the situation is complicated.

At the request of party leader Jörg Meuthen, the federal executive board had canceled Kalbitz’s AfD membership with a narrow majority in May. From now on, he was no longer a party member, no longer a state chief and also no longer a member of the federal executive committee. A bitter blow for Kalbitz and the “wing” fans. And a declaration of war from Meuthen.

The reason given by the federal board: when he joined the AfD in 2013, Kalbitz did not state that he had previously been a member of the Republicans and the neo-Nazi organization Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend (HDJ), which was banned in 2009. According to the AfD’s statutes, he should have done that. Kalbitz denies having been a member of the HDJ, his involvement with the Republicans has long been known.

Legally controversial decision

However, it is controversial whether the federal executive board is even allowed to make such a decision, even if it is provided for in the AfD’s statutes. According to the party law, the body cannot simply kick someone out. A proper party exclusion procedure is necessary, which the party’s arbitration tribunal must decide on.

Kalbitz immediately and successfully sued for an injunction against the decision. Suddenly he was a party member again, also head of the country and member of the federal executive board. Until the party’s arbitration court ruled in July that the federal board’s decision was legal. Now Kalbitz is outside again. And he hopes to be a party member again at the end of the day by means of an injunction.

He doesn’t have bad cards. It is understandable that it is difficult for Kalbitz to wait until a decision is made on the main issue. In the coming months, important decisions will be made in the AfD, and the candidates for the Bundestag election will also be nominated.

Various political party lawyers are also of the opinion that the decision of the federal executive committee is not legally tenable. It remains to be seen, however, whether the regional court still considers the whole procedure to be inadmissible or whether it is satisfied that the party’s arbitration tribunal has now decided. According to the court, it is still open whether a decision will be made this Friday.

If Kalbitz loses, it will be tight for him. In the meantime, support is crumbling even in Brandenburg, where the AfD regional association is classified as a suspected right-wing extremist case by the protection of the Constitution and was previously known for its loyalty to Kalbitz. First the parliamentary group forced him to suspend the chairmanship of the parliamentary group – which he could have continued to exercise from a legal point of view as a non-party member – and then on Tuesday he had to give it up completely.

Previously, the Potsdam public prosecutor’s office had initiated investigations into the initial suspicion of negligent bodily harm against Kalbitz. The latter inflicted a ruptured spleen with a boxing blow to the acting group leader Dennis Holoch, who is actually considered to be Kalbitz’s confidante. Kalbitz spoke of a “mishap”. But if you believe reports from the group, it was probably not the first incident of its kind.

Kai Laubach, the employee of a member of the state parliament, accuses Kalbitz in an open letter of having “punched someone in the face” at the parliamentary group meeting in 2019. “You are party cancer, boy,” writes Laubach. And: “Please go!”

Public prosecutor’s office is investigating a lie

It has since become known that the Berlin public prosecutor’s office is also investigating Kalbitz. The background is an affidavit in which Kalbitz alleged that he was not a member of the HDJ. There is an initial suspicion that this is a lie.

Various experts had doubts about this anyway – among other things because there are pictures of Kalbitz in a tent camp HDJ, a conspiratorial organization whose events you couldn’t look around so easily. But that is exactly what Kalbitz had maintained over and over again. In addition, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution says it has proof of membership of the “Andreas Kalbitz family”.

In the meantime, not only the Brandenburg AfD is moving away from Kalbitz. Little has been heard from the “wing” in defense of it, and withdrawals are noticeable even among a section of the federal leadership who spoke out against the cancellation of Kalbitz’s membership on the executive board.

The chairman of the AfD parliamentary group, Alexander Gauland, who is also honorary chairman of the AfD, told the dpa that he had spoken to Hohloch himself to find out firsthand about the incident. What happened there was “unforgivable,” said Gauland. However, this should have nothing to do with his support for Kalbitz in the controversy over his membership in the party. And Meuthen’s co-party leader Tino Chrupalla said it was “consistent and right” that Kalbitz had given up the parliamentary group chairmanship.

If Kalbitz loses in court, he can pack up in the AfD first. And even if he wins, his key position in the party, where he was previously the influential puller of the “wing”, could be over. In this case, however, another is in trouble: party leader Jörg Meuthen.

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Dispute over membership in the AfD: New slate for the far right

Ex-AfDler Dennis Augustin wanted to rejoin the party by court – and failed. The mud battle around Kalbitz continues.

Can Andreas Kalbitz still go back to the AfD? The mud battle continues Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / dpa

BERLIN taz | Another defeat for those who are on the extreme right in the AfD: After the party’s Federal Arbitration Court declared the cancellation of Andreas Kalbitz’s AfD membership at the weekend legitimate, the former state chief of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Dennis Augustin, failed on Monday in front of the Berlin district court. He had tried to become a party member again with an injunction.

The state executive had canceled Augustin’s membership in July 2019. The reason: Augustin had kept silent when joining the party, having previously been a member of the NPD. Augustin went against the decision before the state and then the federal arbitration court of the party and failed in both cases.

Augustin was now also unsuccessful at the regional court: because the cancellation was made a year ago, the judges no longer saw any urgency. The right contact person for a lawsuit is not the federal, but the regional association of the AfD, because the latter has decided to cancel.

However, presiding judge Roland Kaps rejected the presumption that something could be derived from this decision for the similar Kalbitz case: the situation was different, he emphasized.

JA Brandenburg speaks of “show process”

Andreas Kalbitz’s membership had been canceled by the federal executive board with a small majority in May, because the party from Wahlbrandenburg, at the time of joining the party, is said to have concealed previous memberships of the “Republicans” and the home-loyal German Youth (HDJ), a now banned neo-Nazi organization. Kalbitz has admitted for some time that he was with the Reps, and he continues to deny membership in the HDJ.

Kalbitz also wants to remain in the Brandenburg state parliament as a non-party leader. This is legally possible because the parliamentary group changed its rules of procedure accordingly after the decision of the federal executive board. “There will be a special group meeting, which I strongly support,” Kalbitz told the taz. The situation will be discussed there. AfD federal chief Jörg Meuthen meanwhile warned the parliamentary parliamentary group against sticking to Kalbitz as parliamentary group leader. This would be unacceptable, Meuthen told the RBB. “This would turn the whole faction directly against the party as a whole.” This would be responded to. How, he said, but not.

Alexander Gauland, honorary chairman and parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, initially did not comment on the decision of the Federal Arbitration Court. “The verdict is exactly as I expected it to be,” Gauland told taz on Monday. The question now had to be decided by an ordinary court. “I do not think that the decision of the Federal Arbitration Court can restore legal peace.”

Others in the party were even harder on the arbitral tribunal. The Kalbitz confidante and chairman of the parliamentary group in the Thuringian state parliament, Björn Höcke, spoke of an “arbitrary judgment”, the Junge Alternative Brandenburg even of a “show trial”. She called the party judges “recipients of orders from an internal party clique”. Meuthen accused the critics of a “strange understanding of the rule of law”.

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AfD membership by Andreas Kalbitz: Highnoon in Stuttgart

The AfD arbitral tribunal will meet on Saturday afternoon. It is negotiating whether the right-wing extremist Brandenburg head of state has to leave the party.

If Kalbitz also wins on Saturday, it will be tight for Meuthen Photo: imago-images / Jens Schicke

BERLIN taz | When AfD boss Jörg Meuthen and Andreas Kalbitz, one of the heads of the far-right wing in the party, go to Stuttgart for the Federal Arbitration Court on Saturday, you might think that Meuthen has a home advantage, at least atmospherically. Meuthen comes from Baden-Württemberg, Kalbitz has to travel from Brandenburg, where he is currently head of state and parliamentary group. But Kalbitz also has fans in the southwest and Meuthen is quite controversial in his national association.

The AfD, you can see here, is deeply divided. The party’s Federal Arbitration Court will meet on Saturday to hear a question that is important for this division – also because the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is examining surveillance of the entire party: how much space do designated right-wing extremists, like the 47-year-old Kalbitz, have is not only from the perspective of the protection of the constitution, in the AfD?

But that only applies in a broader sense. Specifically, it is a matter of formality: does the decision of the federal executive board, which canceled Kalbitz’s membership by a narrow majority and with immediate effect in May, survive? According to the reasoning, when he joined the party, he concealed earlier memberships with the Republicans and in the “Home Youth German Youth” (HDJ), a now banned neo-Nazi organization. Kalbitz has sued.

He has already won a small victory at the Berlin district court, and the court has given his application for an injunction a positive decision. One of the reasons: The federal executive committee is not authorized to decide on a party exclusion, this is the task of a party court. That is why Kalbitz can now be head of state and parliamentary group in Brandenburg and assessor on the federal executive board.

There is a lot at stake for Meuthen

Membership is valid until the Federal Arbitration Court makes a decision in the main. To negotiate this, the party judges meet on Saturday at 12 noon. And not just one of the chambers, but because of the importance of the case, all three, a total of nine judges. Meuthen, Kalbitz and their lawyers are heard.

If Kalbitz wins here, it will be tight for Meuthen. Although he was elected party leader until the end of 2021, a two-thirds majority to be voted out is difficult to organize. But Meuthen, anyway controversial not only because of his donation affair, would be significantly weakened, Kalbitz, Björn Höcke and Co. could spread further in the AfD.

If you listen around in the party, another forecast prevails. Because the Federal Arbitration Court had already dealt with the Kalbitz case and rejected an urgent request from him in June – because “important circumstances” suggest that the membership should have been canceled effectively.

If Kalbitz is defeated, that would not only be a great success for Meuthen, but a massive defeat for Kalbitz and his “wing” fellow campaigners – and also for Meuthen’s co-party leader Tino Chrupalla and fraction leader Alice Weidel. Both of them had not only voted against the proposal, but had also massively campaigned against Meuthen afterwards. With formal arguments, however – neither of the two sides had positioned itself regarding the content of Kalbitz’s right-wing extremism.

“Self-laceration” probably continues

Alexander Gauland, who is extremely important for the cohesion of the party, would also be weakened. The AfD honorary chairman and co-chairman of the parliamentary group had made Kalbitz’s rise in the AfD possible and then always held his hand over him.

It is open whether the federal arbitral tribunal will make a decision on Saturday. It won’t be the last word on this anyway. Kalbitz has already announced that it will go to a civil court again in the event of a defeat. And that could lead to another decision.

It is questionable whether the process of sacking – that is, the cancellation of membership – chosen by Meuthen and his colleagues on the federal executive board is at all permissible. Or whether a proper party exclusion process is not needed. In contrast to cancellation, however, this can only be initiated with a two-thirds majority. They did not exist in May.

It may take a while before a new court decision. The AfD’s “self-indulgence”, as co-party leader Chrupalla called it, will therefore continue.

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