AfD in Schleswig-Holstein: Right parliamentary group breaks up

The MP Frank Brodehl leaves his party in Schleswig-Holstein because national forces have increased. The party loses its parliamentary group status.

Leaving the AfD: the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament member Frank Brodehl Photo: Carsten Rehder / dpa

KIEL / BERLIN dpa / taz | The Schleswig-Holstein member of the state parliament, Frank Brodehl, leaves the AfD, which means that it loses its group status in the Kiel parliament. Brodehl announced the move surprisingly on Friday in a debate about the offers in all-day schools. This was his last speech as a member of the Afd and the parliamentary group, said Brodehl in a personal statement at the end of his contribution to the debate.

Compared to the world Brodehl justified his exit from the party and parliamentary group explicitly with the developments in the Schleswig-Holstein state association. “The völkisch-nationalistic forces have increased, while the bourgeois-conservative members are leaving the party,” said Brodehl. Because he considers the development in Schleswig-Holstein to be “irreversible”, he is now leaving the AfD.

With Brodehl’s move out, the AfD loses its parliamentary group status, for which four members are the minimum number. “This means that the parliamentary group has to dissolve,” said a state parliament spokeswoman on Friday. For the AfD MPs, this also means the loss of privileges associated with the parliamentary group status, such as additional resources for staff and a seat on the parliament’s council of elders.

With the loss of parliamentary group status in Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD’s loss of importance in the federal states continues. Only a few days ago, the AfD in Lower Saxony lost its parliamentary group status after three MPs had declared their exit from the parliamentary group. In Bremen there has been no AfD parliamentary group for a good year after the parliamentarians fell out and divided them into two groups.

Trial against Sayn-Wittgenstein

In Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD parliamentary group, which initially had five members after the 2017 state elections, excluded its MP Doris von Sayn-Wittgenstein in December 2018. She is said to have maintained connections to a right-wing extremist association that was co-founded by a Holocaust denier. This was also followed in December 2018 by the exclusion from the AfD, which the Federal Arbitration Court finally confirmed at the end of August 2019. In the first instance, the dismissal was rejected by the regional arbitration court in May 2019.

Sayn-Wittgenstein was elected AfD state chairwoman in 2017. Despite the current party expulsion process, she was re-elected to this office in June 2019. She lost it two months later when she was expelled. Sayn-Wittgenstein is still a member of the state parliament, but without any party or affiliation.

The remaining four-member AfD parliamentary group under its chairman Jörg Nobis was said to have a very tense relationship with the AfD state executive, in which Sayn-Wittgenstein is said to still have followers. The successor to Sayn-Wittgensteins as AfD country chief is still open today.