Media report: AfD registers more members despite scandals

Media report: AfD registers more members despite scandals
Media report: AfD registers more members despite scandals

The number of AfD party members has been rising for some time. The party expects to soon break the 50,000 mark, reports the ARD capital studio.

Despite the recent scandals and disputes in the AfD surrounding the European election candidate Maximilian Krah and the AfD Bundestag member Petr Bystron, classifications by regional associations as “certainly right-wing extremist” and mass demonstrations against the right, the number of party members continues to grow. Around 48,000 people are currently in the AfD, it reported on Saturday, citing circles in the federal executive board. The party expects to grow to 50,000 members in four to eight weeks.

The party wants to celebrate this milestone publicly and encourage even more people to join the AfD. To this end, the AfD wants to launch an advertising campaign with a countdown and an award for the 50,000th member. According to ARD information, a medal or a trophy is being discussed, or at least an autograph for the 50,000th member. The AfD wants to spend “a few thousand euros” on this.

According to “Correctiv” research, AfD recorded an increase in membership

The AfD had already reported an increase in membership at the beginning of the year. The number of “new applications for membership received and posted in the system” in the period from January 1 to 25 was given as “a good 2,500,” reported the magazine “Spiegel” at the end of January. It had made a corresponding request. Since January 10 alone, 1,900 applications have been received, “Spiegel” quoted from the AfD’s written communication. According to the AfD’s statutes, there is a one-month objection period. On January 10, the research platform “Correctiv” reported on a secret meeting of AfD politicians, neo-Nazis and entrepreneurs. In spring 2023, an AfD spokesman had given the number of 29,180 members.

According to research by “Correctiv”, other parties also reported new members. “We Greens have recorded over 2,600 new members joining our party since the beginning of January,” said the party’s federal political director, Emily Büning, in January. Compared to an average of just under 700 new members per month in 2023, this is a record number, according to the party. The Left also expected a strong increase.

According to party researchers, the AfD’s current sustained increase in membership is due to the fact that the right-wing populist party is benefiting from a social escalation. The AfD and the Greens form “the clearest opposite poles in sociopolitical terms,” ​​said political scientist Benjamin Höhne from the University of Magdeburg, according to ARD at the beginning of the year, referring to the rising membership numbers. The Greens stand for libertarian-progressive positions, the AfD for regressive-authoritarian-conservative demands.

Further sources: News agencies AFP and DPA

Source: Stern

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