State election: Thuringian AfD deputy: demand for Höcke’s exclusion “absurd”

State election: Thuringian AfD deputy: demand for Höcke’s exclusion “absurd”

The AfD’s local dispute in Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, Thuringia is coming to a head. The Thuringian state board with its boss Björn Höcke wants to get rid of several members. But they fight back.

Thuringia’s AfD deputy Torben Braga has described suggestions from AfD local politicians about a possible exclusion of state party leader Björn Höcke as “absurd”. “The demand is absurd because the members are not entitled to apply for various reasons,” Braga told the German Press Agency.

Several AfD local politicians in the Thuringian district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt had previously expressed criticism of Höcke in the “Bild” newspaper and called for his resignation. “We are calling for his resignation and are preparing something for this. So far, everyone who Höcke didn’t want had to leave at some point. What Höcke is doing is sick!” said AfD politician Jörg Gasda to “Bild”. Höcke gets “the yes-men who are easy to deal with: these are people who stand at the gas station in the morning with beer.” The AfD local politician Josef Kluy told “Bild”: “We don’t have to be thrown out of the party – if so, then Höcke (…)”

Competing AfD lists in Saalfeld-Rudolstadt

The background to the dispute in Saalfeld-Rudolstadt are two competing AfD lists for the district council elections that will take place in Thuringia on May 26th. One list – around state parliament member Karlheinz Frosch – bears the official name of the AfD. However, the Thuringian AfD leader Björn Höcke supports a different one – without an AfD name, instead under the label “Alternative for the District”.

In the state association’s opinion, there were too few candidates on Frosch’s AfD list. So the list should be canceled and a new one chosen. Frosch, who is also the senior president of the state parliament, defended himself legally. So other AfD members created a new list and collected signatures for approval – with success. Now there will probably be two competing lists on the ballot paper, with AfD members behind them in both cases.

Braga said that a party expulsion procedure had been applied for against a total of nine AfD members from the region. At the same time, the state board decided to “immediately revoke the membership rights” of seven of these people. This applies until a decision by the arbitration tribunal. Those affected are therefore not allowed to take part in party conferences and are also not entitled to apply to the arbitration tribunal. The demand for Höcke to be excluded from the party is therefore in vain, said Braga.

According to Braga, there are also rules of the AfD statutes in Thuringia. Accordingly, disciplinary measures against board members can only be requested by a higher-level board. For members of the state executive board like Höcke, the application must come from the state executive board or the federal executive board.

Source: Stern

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