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AfD: Party conference of Alice Weidel’s regional association confirms leadership duo

AfD: Party conference of Alice Weidel’s regional association confirms leadership duo

The Southwest AfD party conferences were often chaotic. But this time it was particularly turbulent because the power struggle between Alice Weidel and Dirk Spaniel was exceptionally violent.

After much chaos and tumult at the AfD party conference in Rottweil, the leadership duo was able to assert itself in office. The Bundestag member Markus Frohnmaier and the state parliament member Emil Sätze were confirmed as co-chairs of the state association on Saturday evening. 75.7 percent of members voted for Frohnmaier, 24.3 percent against him. 76.46 percent voted for Sähne and 23.54 percent against him. Between 800 and 900 members took part in the elections.

A power struggle is raging in the regional association. The camp around the leadership duo is close to the Bundestag parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel, the opposing camp is formed around the Bundestag member Dirk Spaniel. Seven members of the old board are considered “Dirkians” – and they recently had the majority in the committee. 22 of the 37 district associations had therefore called for a special party conference in Rottweil and the associated board elections in order to finally clarify the balance of power. After all, important elections are coming up soon: the local, European and federal elections. It’s about drawing up lists, about power, offices and positions.

Alice Weidel and her camp prevail

With the confirmation of the leadership duo, the Weidel camp in Rottweil was able to assert itself. In the end, no opposing candidate wanted to run against either Frohnmaier or Sätze. A majority for the Weidel camp had already emerged throughout the day. Frohnmaier and Sanzen both called for unity.

It was previously questionable whether the party conference would have to be canceled due to overcrowding. In the Rottweil town hall in the morning there were tumultuous scenes, boos and even a kind of mutton jump: everyone present had to leave the hall again in order to sort out those who were not entitled to vote. Indignant, the AfD members trotted out of the hall at a snail’s pace, only to re-enter a short time later. The mood in the hall was heated. The special party conference of the Southwest AfD was actually supposed to start at 10 a.m., but the members were only able to agree on an agenda many hours later. The board election did not begin until 6:12 p.m.

Many AfD members at the state party conference

The town hall in Rottweil offers 400 seats, but there can’t be more because there are safety rules, such as fire protection regulations. But in the morning significantly more AfD supporters came than expected. There was a very long line in front of the building. AfD party conferences in the southwest are not made up of delegates, but of ordinary members. Anyone can come, so the number of participants is difficult for the organizers to calculate. The association has been deeply divided for years. The opposing camps therefore try to bring as many of their own supporters as possible from all over the country to party conferences.

The rival groups in Rottweil fought verbal battles on an open stage for hours. Some board members switched off each other’s microphones before the party conference really got started. Spaniel supporters questioned the legitimacy of the convention, claiming members were turned away at the door, making the election contestable. The hall was searched by security guards during the evacuation because there was a rumor that individual members had had several voting machines given to them.

Weidel for an end to the dispute

At some point in the chaos, Weidel came on stage to applause. Her speech was brought forward, as a gap-filler, so to speak, while the hall was sorted. “We want to work together to ensure that the state association finds itself in calm waters so that it is prepared for the local and European elections,” said the federal politician. “We cannot afford to prolong the conflict in the state executive board any further.” Both Weidel and Spaniel have already led the disputed regional association in the past. Spaniel repeatedly tries to mobilize his own troops and grab power.

Note: This article has been updated with the results of the board elections.

Source: Stern

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