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Tommy Frenck: Local CDU does not want to campaign against neo-Nazis

Tommy Frenck: Local CDU does not want to campaign against neo-Nazis

In the district election in Hildburghausen, the neo-Nazi Tommy Frenck is on the ballot paper. The CDU has refrained from formally recommending the opposing candidate. After outraged reactions, the district chief speaks of a misunderstanding.

Shortly before the district election in Hildburghausen in southern Thuringia, in which a neo-Nazi is also up for election, the local CDU district association does not want to make a formal recommendation. “We discussed this controversially in the board,” said district chairman Christopher Other to the star. “But the majority decided that we will stay out of the second round of voting.” First reported on the decision.

This Sunday, the runoff election for the post of district administrator will take place in the Hildburghausen district. Eisfeld mayor Sven Gregor (Free Voters) is considered the favorite; he received 42.2 percent of the vote just two weeks ago. He is running against the nationally known neo-Nazi Tommy Frenck, who received 24.9 percent. The CDU candidate narrowly failed in the first round of voting.

Frenck had already declared “nationally liberated zones” in Thuringia in his youth and was a member of the NPD. He runs a scene bar with a right-wing extremist mail order business in his home district and organized several large neo-Nazi concerts. At the same time, he sits on the district council for the “Alliance for Hildburghausen” which he founded.

Local CDU wants to avoid “Sonneberg effect”

CDU district leader Other justified the district executive’s decision with the experience from the district election in the neighboring district of Sonneberg. There, AfD candidate Robert Sesselmann won the runoff election in June 2023 despite a broad party alliance directed against him.

“We want to avoid the Sonneberg effect,” said Other. “The image of a united front could make people vote for the extreme candidate even more.” In addition, Gregor had opposed official support from other parties, he said. “We respect that wish.” All other interpretations are wrong or based on misunderstandings.

Gregor confirmed Others’ account. “I want to convince the voters myself,” he told the star“I listened a lot during the election campaign: people see politics differently today and are more likely to react allergically to such recommendations.”

The Thuringian CDU leadership, however, has taken a clear stance. They “expressly” support Gregor as the future district administrator, said General Secretary Christian Herrgott in a statement. “A neo-Nazi like the one in Hildburghausen is not an option under any circumstances.”

Thuringia CDU General Secretary Christian Herrgott. To his left is state and parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt.

Herrgott himself recently won the district election in the Saale-Orla district against the favored AfD candidate, thanks in part to the support of the SPD and the Left Party. This is also why he says something that sounds like a clear recommendation for election Sunday. “Where the CDU is not in the runoff, we support the candidates of the SPD, FDP or Free Voters’ Associations,” he said.

However, it is not the first time that instructions from the state party leadership in southern Thuringia have been ignored. In 2021, for example, the Hildburghausen district association, together with other associations, nominated Hans-Georg Maaßen as a candidate for the Bundestag – and this against the express wishes of Herrgott and state leader Mario Voigt.

Just as it was then, the Union in southern Thuringia is now once again in the national spotlight. “I am very irritated that the CDU district association in Hildburghausen is not calling for the election of the democratic candidate,” said the parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, to the starThe question is whether everyone in the Union can do what they want. “This double game is very dangerous and benefits those who want to undermine our democracy,” she said.

District chief on Tommy Frenck: “He is without question a neo-Nazi”

District chief Other rejected the criticism, but gave in somewhat. “I and the CDU in the district obviously do not want Tommy Frenck as district administrator,” he said. “He is without question a neo-Nazi.” At the same time, he spoke out at least indirectly in favor of electing the Free Voters candidate. “Sven Gregor is a good candidate who has convinced people with his work as mayor,” he said. “I hope that people exercise their right to vote and do not think that the matter is over.”

Gregor, who actively supports the “Cosmopolitan Thuringia” alliance, also has this fear. “People often don’t understand that the runoff election starts from scratch again,” he said. If not enough people turn out to vote, Frenck has a good chance of winning the vote.

Therefore, said the district administrator candidate, he is now planning a final appeal via video to generally call for participation in the election – together with CDU district leader Other.

Source: Stern

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