AfD parliamentary group dismisses former spokesman Lüth – politics

The AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag has dismissed its former spokesman Christian Lüth because of inhuman statements about migrants that are quoted in a television documentary. The AfD parliamentary group unanimously decided to terminate the contract without notice, said a spokesman. The chairman Alexander Gauland announced this in the parliamentary group meeting, from which numerous MPs had previously demanded consequences for Lüth. He was spokesman for the parliamentary group for a long time and spokesman for the party for several years. In reports about Time online Statements attributed to that in the documentation of the station Pro Sieben Right. German. radical be quoted. Lüth initially did not comment on the allegations.

In the documentation, among other things, the statement is given that the AfD has an interest in the situation in Germany deteriorating. This was discussed with Gauland: “The worse Germany is doing, the better for the AfD.” In addition, the AfD functionary, who is not named in the film, is credited with saying about migrants that more migrants should be allowed into the country. “We can still shoot them all afterwards, that’s not an issue at all, or gass them, or whatever you want, I don’t care,” he is reported to have said. According to the broadcaster, the statements were overheard and recorded by witnesses without his knowledge during a conversation between the AfD functionary and a Youtuber. He is not shown in the documentation, nor is his name mentioned.

Lüth had been suspended from his post as spokesman for the parliamentary group months ago because he is said to have boasted to a woman that he was a fascist. The parliamentary group recently elected the new press spokesman Markus Schmidt as his successor, but Lüth should actually continue to be employed.

He was long considered a close confidante of parliamentary group leader Gauland and, due to his many contacts, was also influential in the party.

Before the AfD moved into the Bundestag, Lüth was the spokesman for the federal party under the chairmen Bernd Lucke, Frauke Petry and later Jörg Meuthen and Alexander Gauland. The parliamentary group leader said the statements attributed to Lüth are completely unacceptable and in no way compatible with the goals and policies of the AfD and the AfD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. “

On Monday evening, the AfD had its spokesman explain that Lüth was no longer a member of the party. He has not spoken for the AfD since January 2018, when he switched to the parliamentary group and became its spokesman. “His currently thematized statements, which he made in February 2020 and which are in direct contrast to the free-democratic principles of our party, can therefore in no way be attributed to the AfD,” said the spokesman.

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AfD dispute in Lower Saxony: Gauland wants Guth expulsion – politics

The disintegration of the Lower Saxony AfD parliamentary group will apparently have consequences. As the German press agency found out on Wednesday, the federal board of the right-wing populist party wants to discuss possible party regulation procedures next Wednesday.

The leadership dispute in Hanover led to the break of the nine-member parliamentary group on Tuesday. The previous chairman Dana Guth and the MPs Stefan Wirtz and Jens Ahrends had left the parliamentary group. Previously, the election of the top parliamentary group had been postponed.

The chairman of the AfD parliamentary group, Alexander Gauland, appealed to the federal executive committee to initiate a party expulsion process against Guth. “The AfD is now virtually incapable of acting in an important federal state due to the senseless demolition of the parliamentary group by Ms. Guth,” said Gauland of the dpa. “Anyone who immediately throws everything down after an internal party defeat cannot be politically engaged with and they have not understood the nature of a democratic party,” he added. As honorary chairman, Gauland takes part in the meetings of the federal executive committee, but has no voting rights.

Guth described a possible party exclusion procedure by the federal board as a political game. The federal executive board itself does not provide a shining example of unity with its committees, Guth told the dpa. “The offer from our side is very clear to found a new parliamentary group with seven bourgeois-conservative MPs.” If a new political group can be set up, do not insist on the presidency. “Personally, I am not attached to my post.”

The dispute among the Lower Saxony AfD members has drastic effects. As early as next month, the AfD will no longer receive the funding it was previously entitled to as a parliamentary group of around 100,000 euros a month. In addition, grants not used for parliamentary group work are to be repaid to the Landtag and all items such as computers obtained from grants are to be returned. Rooms in the state parliament used by the parliamentary group must be vacated; only the MPs keep their rooms.

The previous chairman Guth and her two colleagues had left the nine-member parliamentary group, but want to remain in the party and in the state parliament. The remaining six MPs lost their status as a parliamentary group, as they together make up less than five percent of the state parliament. This was preceded two weeks ago by a shift to the right in the party with the election of Guth, who is considered to be moderate, as head of the country.

AfD faction in Lower Saxony's state parliament broken

Dana Guth left the AfD parliamentary group in the Lower Saxony state parliament with two colleagues – they lost their parliamentary group status.

(Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa)

As the parliamentary manager of the AfD parliamentary group, Klaus Wichmann of the German press agency, said that it was possible to work out a compromise line within the parliamentary group. But then the dispute was formally sparked by the search for a new election date. But he is assuming a prepared coup by the three. “We are disappointed and stunned by your exit and thus most likely the end of the parliamentary group,” said Wichmann and the other members of parliament. “We consider the exit of the three to be incomprehensible and irresponsible.”

In the Lower Saxony AfD there has been a power struggle between moderate and more radical forces in the party for a long time. Guth was voted out of office a week ago at the state party conference in Braunschweig and Jens Kestner, a member of the German Bundestag, was elected as the new state chairman by a narrow margin. Kestner is assigned to the officially dissolved, völkisch-nationalist “wing”.

Guth then signaled that he wanted to remain at the top of the group. “With a dual leadership, here a parliamentary group, there a party, the AfD will now fight for a better Lower Saxony,” Guth announced a week ago. “The parliamentary group will continue its successful course in the state parliament with all its might,” she had announced – in fact the power struggle was raging behind the scenes at the time, but unabated.

The new country chief announces more protest

Nationwide, the AfD had already hit the headlines with disputes and factional quarrels in the state parliaments. In Baden-Württemberg and last year in Bremen, the parliamentary group broke up, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania some of the MPs split off.

In Lower Saxony, the AfD moved into the Lower Saxony state parliament for the first time in 2017 with a result of 6.2 percent. However, the new state party leader Kestner had already announced that he would be increasingly fighting for the AfD’s politics on the street and with protest actions.

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AfD parliamentary group in Lower Saxony broken – politics

The leadership dispute at the Lower Saxony AfD led to the break in the parliamentary group. The previous chairman Dana Guth and two other MPs have left the nine-member parliamentary group, as the AfD announced in Hanover. But you want to stay in the party and in the state parliament. The remaining six MPs lose their status as a parliamentary group, since together they make up less than five percent of the state parliament. This was preceded two weeks ago by a shift to the right in the party with the election of Guth, who is considered to be moderate, as head of the country.

“The three of us decided today after the events of the last ten days to leave the group,” said Guth der Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. But that does not have to be the end of the AfD in the state parliament. You are available to found a new parliamentary group.

As the parliamentary manager of the AfD parliamentary group, Klaus Wichmann of the German press agency, said that it was possible to work out a compromise line within the parliamentary group. But then the dispute was formally sparked by the search for a new election date. But he is assuming a prepared coup by the three. “We are disappointed and stunned by your exit and thus most likely the end of the parliamentary group,” said Wichmann and the other members of parliament. “We consider the exit of the three to be incomprehensible and irresponsible.”

In the Lower Saxony AfD there has been a power struggle between moderate and more radical forces in the party for a long time. Guth was voted out of office a week ago at the state party conference in Braunschweig and Jens Kestner, a member of the German Bundestag, was elected as the new state chairman by a narrow margin. Kestner is assigned to the officially dissolved, völkisch-nationalist “wing”.

Guth then signaled that he wanted to remain at the top of the group. “With a dual leadership, here a parliamentary group, there a party, the AfD will now fight for a better Lower Saxony,” Guth announced a week ago. “The parliamentary group will continue its successful course in the state parliament with all its might,” she had announced – in fact the power struggle was raging behind the scenes at the time, but unabated.

Nationwide, the AfD had already hit the headlines with disputes and factional quarrels in the state parliaments. In Baden-Württemberg and last year in Bremen, the parliamentary group broke up, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania some of the MPs split off.

In Lower Saxony, the AfD moved into the Lower Saxony state parliament for the first time in 2017 with a result of 6.2 percent. The loss of parliamentary group strength means that the AfD will in future have fewer parliamentary rights in the Lower Saxony state parliament. However, the new state party leader Kestner had already announced that he would be increasingly fighting for the AfD’s politics on the street and with protest actions.

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AfD votes in the Bundestag: No real alternative – politics

When Jan Korte, the parliamentary manager of the left-wing parliamentary group, was sitting in the plenary session of the Bundestag on Thursday morning, he was initially surprised at an application from the FDP. It called for the state to introduce “a brake on participation” for companies and, for example, for the complete privatization of Deutsche Post.

Korte thinks of what he has to think as a leftist: “Lots of neoliberal crazy stuff”. But that morning he was even more surprised about the AfD, which likes to act as a party of the little man (not the little woman). In any case, the AfD supported the Liberals’ motion to accelerate privatization. AfD MP Enrico Komning said at the lectern: “Even if it doesn’t happen often, I want to jump in with the FDP parliamentary group today.”

Korte, on the other hand, has had the feeling for some time: This happens more often than many AfD voters probably suspect.

It was then of course very practical that Jan Korte had just received a study fresh off the press that confirms exactly this impression: The voting behavior of the “Alternative für Deutschland” in the Bundestag is not as alternative as the name suggests.

It presents itself there as the only available counter-model to an alleged “old party cartel”, but that does not prevent the AfD parliamentary group from agreeing to the initiatives of these so-called old parties surprisingly often.

The study was carried out on behalf of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is close to the Left. So the authors are certainly not entirely impartial. But your method is incorruptible. You simply counted how the AfD voted in parliament from May 2018 to June 2019.

160 votes from the political fields of labor and social affairs, economy and energy, home affairs and home, and family were examined. The federal government brought in 43 printed matter from these areas in the period mentioned – 16 times of which the AfD said: Yes. She abstained six more times.

Of 23 initiatives by the FDP, the right-wing populists only rejected twelve. The approval rates of the AfD were significantly lower for applications from the two other opposition parties, the Greens and the Left.

The study also compared the overall similarities in voting behavior. So not only were the yeses to motions from other parliamentary groups, but also no, for example. Here, too, there was a remarkable finding: In more than half of the cases, the AfD voted exactly like the government groups (54 percent).

Statistically not even half an alternative

And the agreement rate with the FDP was only slightly lower (52 percent). From a purely statistical point of view, the AfD parliamentary group is not even half an alternative.

She likes to justify this with “parliamentary pragmatism”. Nice and good. This pragmatic, one could also say, state-supporting voting streak stands in very obvious contrast to the yapping rhetoric of this party. Didn’t the parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland announce at the time after entering the Bundestag: “We will hunt Ms. Merkel or whoever”?

So now we know that this hunt ends in more than half of the cases examined with Gauland’s AfD voting exactly like Merkel’s Union or Christian Lindner’s FDP. Does this have any practical use? Absolutely, thinks Jan Korte.

That could be an aid for many local politicians from across the democratic spectrum. Many of these local councils, local leaders and grassroots politicians who do not do this professionally every day, are often completely helpless in the face of the little man rhetoric and the old party talk of the AfD.

Now, says Korte, these people could prove the right-wing populists on the ground in black and white: “You do the complete opposite of what you are talking about here in the Bundestag.”

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Populism – A Question of Perception – Politics

With the fresh images of the Berlin Corona demonstrations from last weekend in mind, the news comes as a bit of a surprise: According to a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, populist ideas are receiving much less recognition in Germany than they were two years ago.

That sounds reassuring at first. The simple truths that populists long for the whole people to believe because the whole people are affected, would therefore no longer easily get caught. Politicians are all corrupt; Compromises are only betrayals of ideals; Better politicians would be normal; Politicians no longer know what the citizens out there want anyway: According to the study, no longer every third person follows such sentences, such moods, as in 2018, but only one in five.

Basically, it’s always a good thing when there is evidence that the one-hand-side culture is not yet extinct. The weighing of arguments, the exhausting search for the second thought behind the obvious first, the willingness to question yourself every now and then – that is the opposite of populism.

So if the Bertelsmann “populism barometer” – that’s what it really means – measures a low, you can find it as good as a high pressure area on vacation. Especially since in the fifth year after the great refugee autumn, the high time for populists, it can serve as a sign of sustainable common sense for the majority.

The question, however, is: What does it help if the perception is completely different? The AfD, the parliamentary right arm of populism in this country, is still there and sits unchanged in the Bundestag and all state parliaments. The hatred on the internet, which is often based on populist simplification, the merciless struggle between idealists and ideologues, the apparently rampant notion of a state that sees its citizens as enemies – none of this is conceited.

You have to roar loudly from the edge to be heard

If you follow the Bertelsmann study, the willingness of people to return to the political center, where people can have different opinions without being hostile, increases. At the same time, however, the researchers have also determined that those who continue to reject this “middle” are radicalizing.

To them it may seem like a place of loyal obedience and state-ordered manipulation, as the home of the hated “mainstream”. Whether you feel excluded from society or exclude yourself because you don’t want to be “like everyone” comes down to the same thing – you are somehow left out.

But from the edge you have to roar loudly in order to be heard, and the further the edge moves outwards, the louder it has to get so that the growing center can still perceive it. That could be what’s happening right now.

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Thuringia: Ramelow shows AfD man middle finger – politics

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) showed the middle finger to AfD MP Stefan Möller during a heated parliamentary debate. Möller, who is also the AfD state spokesman, spoke about the protection of the constitution, which he described as a scandal-prone authority, during a discussion about how to deal with NSU files. “Whoever has seen everything great is not it, Mr. Ramelow?” Said Möller in the direction of the Thuringian head of government. Ramelow then showed Möller the middle finger.

The left-wing politician has actually been monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution for years. However, the Federal Constitutional Court found that the surveillance was unconstitutional.

The Thuringian CDU faction criticized Ramelow’s action sharply. Ramelow and the AfD misused parliament “for their unsavory sandbox games,” said parliamentary director of the CDU parliamentary group, Andreas Bühl. He spoke of “disrespect for the state parliament”.

AfD faction leader Björn Höcke suggested Ramelow to resign. “If he had a spark of political and human decency, he would step down!” Höcke said in a message. He called Ramelow unworthy of office.

Ramelow received support from Thuringia’s Left Group leader Susanne Hennig-Wellso. “A stink finger is the only decent response to an indecent person,” she wrote on Twitter. Hennig-Wellsow had caused a stir this year when she threw a bouquet of flowers at the feet of Thomas Kemmerich, the FDP politician, who was surprisingly elected Prime Minister. Kemmerich took office on February 5 with the help of AfD votes and resigned shortly afterwards after public pressure.

Ramelow himself later repented on Twitter: “The Landtag deserves my respect as a constitutional body. I did not show it today to the extent required. Nevertheless, I will never let the AfD instrumentalize my anti-fascist attitude,” wrote the 64-year-old left-wing politician on Twitter.

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AfD politician Brandner: urgent application rejected – politics

Brandner was voted out of office as chairman of the committee because the majority there considered him intolerable. The final decision on whether this was legal is still pending.

The Federal Constitutional Court has rejected an urgent request against the removal of the AfD politician Stephan Brandner from the chair of the legal committee of the Bundestag. The AfD faction wanted to enforce with an interim order that Brandner may temporarily resume his duties as chairman. The judges rejected this (Az. 2 BvE 1/20).

The vote out was a one-time process in the history of the Bundestag and had caused great trouble in the AfD. The non-AfD MPs in the committee had considered Brandner to be no longer viable and on November 13 called him 37 votes to 6 against as chairman. The lawyer from Thuringia had previously triggered several scandals with messages on Twitter. This included his reaction to the anti-Semitic terrorist attack in Halle with two deaths and several injuries. Brandner had refused to resign. The AfD also did not want to name any other candidate. The committee has since been headed by its deputy chair, Heribert Hirte (CDU).

The fact that the AfD did not make a replacement was one of the reasons for the constitutional judges to reject the urgent request. The AfD has it in its own hands to reduce its impairment by appointing another candidate, the court said. In addition, the AfD is still represented with the same number of seats on the committee. This did not completely prevent her from fulfilling her opposition tasks.

The decision is initially only a preliminary decision. The judges of the Second Senate have so far only dealt with the urgent application, which is about whether the plaintiff will suffer irreparable disadvantages until the actual decision. In the main proceedings initiated by the AfD, the judges must decide whether Brandner’s dismissal was unconstitutional. The Bundestag’s rules of procedure only explicitly provide for the appointment of the chairman, not his deselection. Paragraph 58 simply states: “The committees determine their chairmen and their deputies according to the agreements in the Council of Elders.”

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AfD: New argument for Andreas Kalbitz ‘opponent – politics

A document confirms the suspicion that Kalbitz did not indicate problematic connections to the extreme right-wing milieu when he was admitted to the AfD.

In the dispute over the expulsion of AfD right winger Andreas Kalbitz, a new document could strengthen the position of Chairman Jörg Meuthen. A list of members that became known on Tuesday confirms the suspicion that the former Brandenburg head of state did not specify problematic connections to the extreme right-wing milieu when he was admitted to the AfD, contrary to the AfD statutes.

According to an excerpt from a list of members on March 21, 2013, Kalbitz only mentioned the Young Union and the CSU as former party memberships. The application for membership, however, asked new members to disclose their previous affiliation in extremist organizations and to ensure that they did not belong to any right-wing extremist or xenophobic organization.

With this, the dispute over the personnel gets new nourishment. Kalbitz’s AfD membership was canceled ten days ago at the instigation of party leader Meuthen with the support of a slim majority of the federal executive board. This was opposed by the top of the parliamentary group and Meuthen’s co-chair Tino Chrupalla. The expulsion was understood as a declaration of war by the forces of the “Wing” current, which had since been dissolved. Meuthen and other board members cited, among other things, that Kalbitz had not indicated his membership with the Republicans when joining the AfD. Kalbitz is said to have been a member for one year from the end of 1993. Because the Republicans were at times classified as extremists, he should have indicated this.

Meanwhile, the unrest in the AfD is growing. There is talk of a “break” in two camps in the faction of the AfD, the largest opposition party in the Bundestag. Because part of the leadership is for Kalbitz to remain and another part is there, cooperation between the two sides is hardly possible anymore, it said.

Party leader Meuthen confirmed his decision on Tuesday. The cancellation of membership was compulsory, according to him. He accuses Kalbitz of not concealing membership in the right-wing extremist group HDJ, but also criticizes: “Andreas Kalbitz has never distanced himself from his extremist connections.”

Party leader Meuthen is preparing for a lengthy lawsuit

With a view to the unrest in the party, Meuthen is counting on the time factor and hopes that the waves will level off, although the party leader also expects a lengthy legal dispute with Kalbitz. “We have decided, and that is now the case,” he said. “The legal process is of course open to Mr. Kalbitz.” With regard to the possible legal dispute, the party leader says: “It will probably take longer.” He assumes that “there will be some time in the country.” The supporters of a separation from Kalbitz are apparently betting that loyalty to him will also decrease in the East German AfD state associations. “At the moment the excitement is high,” said Meuthen. “That will calm down. Sometimes you have to let a story sag.”

This should also apply to the party executive, who is currently deeply divided. Three of the most important members of the top feel duped by Meuthen: his co-chair Tino Chrupalla and the chairs of the parliamentary group Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. One is irreconcilable, but Chairman Meuthen, after his temporary triumph in the yet unfinished Kalbitz case, has an interest in minimizing the conflict. “There will be no showdown in the party leadership,” he believes. “We are only divided on one question.” Meuthen critics in the AfD say that his only concern is to secure his power and to position himself for an application as a top candidate for the Bundestag election next year. Meuthen only says that he is considering a candidacy. “I will decide at the end of summer whether I want to run for the Bundestag. But that is still open for me.”

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AfD: What the Kalbitz expulsion means for the party – politics

Power struggles have always occurred in the AfD. The expulsion of Andreas Kalbitz reflects a core conflict of the party: Do you need the extreme right – or do you have to get rid of it as soon as possible to survive?

There is a photo from 2007 by Andreas Kalbitz, the right wing of the AfD, who is suddenly no longer allowed to be in the AfD. The Munich-born, who led the AfD in Brandenburg and had been a member of the federal executive board for years, has been out since last Friday. The expulsion also has to do with this picture. It shows Kalbitz in short lederhosen and an olive-green T-shirt in a tent camp of the right-wing extremist “Home Youth German Youth”. It looks exactly as you would imagine the participants of a camp of neo-Nazis with morning exercise and “Germanic all-around”, it was a Pentecost meeting of the organization that is forbidden today. When the AfD politician was confronted with this and other images some time ago, he had a bizarre excuse. He was there as a guest, he said, “to take a look at that”.

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AfD throws right winger Andreas Kalbitz out of party politics

The AfD federal executive has excluded the previous state chairman and parliamentary leader in Brandenburg, Andreas Kalbitz, from the party. On Friday, the highest party committee declared the membership of one of the best-known and most controversial leaders of the right-wing nationalists to be void. That learned the Southgerman newspaper from the party leadership. Seven board members voted for, five against the exclusion. A board member abstained.

The decision is considered a bang in the power struggle for the future of the AfD. Alongside Björn Höcke, head of the AfD in Thuringia, Kalbitz was the best-known representative of the party’s right-wing national movement, the “wing”. He is at least as influential as Höcke. The organization had disbanded at the end of April under pressure from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The reason for the exclusion was his admission to the neo-Nazi organization “Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend” (HDJ). The HDJ is on the AfD’s so-called incompatibility list. Anyone who was a member of a group on this list must not be included in the AfD. In addition, the party leadership accuses Kalbitz that he did not indicate his membership in the Republicans between late 1993 and early 1994. The Republicans have also been under the protection of the constitution for years.

With this declaration of nullity, the AfD chose the fastest way to separate from Kalbitz. Membership was canceled with immediate effect, it said. The pressure on the party leadership had risen again this week to draw consequences from Kalbitz’s involvement in the far-right milieu. In a letter to the 13 federal executive boards of the AfD, Kalbitz had to admit that his name might have been on a “prospect or contact list” of the now banned organization. Kalbitz describes this as “quite possible and likely”. This emerges from a statement to the party’s federal executive that WDR, NDR and Süddeutscher Zeitung is present.

Kalbitz wants to fight for his place in the AfD

The exclusion was preceded by a longer process. The AfD federal executive had asked Kalbitz at the end of March to review his biography and any right-wing extremist references. The reason for this is the opinion of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution on the AfD, in which it is established that Kalbitz was a member of the right-wing extremist organization HDJ. The report stated, among other things, that Kalbitz was deeply rooted in right-wing extremism and that the name “Andreas Kalbitz family” including a four-digit membership number was on a member list of the HDJ. Kalbitz denied this again and again.

The voting behavior makes it clear how controversial the rapid exclusion in the party is. According to information from party circles, the party leader Jörg Meuthen and six other members of the party executive board voted for the decision. Kalbitz, co-chair Tino Chrupalla, chairman of the parliamentary group, Alice Weidel, and three other members were against it. Carsten Hütter from Saxony therefore abstained. The separation could fuel the dispute over the direction in the AfD, it said in the party leadership.

The head of the parliamentary group, Alexander Gauland, criticized the expulsion as “wrong” and “very dangerous for the party”. Kalbitz meanwhile wants to fight for his place in the AfD. He wanted “to use all legal possibilities to contest this wrong political decision in my view,” he said after the decision.

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