Thursday, December 2, 2021

Despite high incidences – AfD unwaveringly sticks to federal party conference with hundreds of participants

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The corona numbers in Germany are exploding, experts strongly recommend contact restrictions. The AfD still wants to hold its federal party conference in presence. Many of them are not vaccinated.

Regardless of the increasing number of people infected with corona, the AfD is sticking to its federal party conference planned for December 11 in Wiesbaden. As participants in a telephone conference of the federal executive committee reported unanimously on Friday, it was discussed not to cancel the two-day event for the time being. 600 participants came to the last party conference in Dresden.

However, if hotel overnight stays in Hesse as well as in neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate are only possible according to the 2G rules – vaccinated or recovered – on the weekend in question, the party conference could not take place, it said. A significant part of the members of the AfD refuses – for various reasons – a vaccination against Covid-19.

The AfD delegates want to elect a new federal board at the party congress. Of the two previous chairmen, only Tino Chrupalla is still running. The long-time co-chairman Jörg Meuthen no longer wants to run for office. AfD honorary chairman Alexander Gauland considers the Bavarian member of the Bundestag Peter Boehringer to be a suitable party chairman. “I could live with Boehringer very well,” Gauland told the newspaper “Welt” on Friday.

In the run-up to the AfD federal executive election planned for December, Boehringer is being traded within the party as a promising candidate for the chief position. Gauland does not believe that the election of the board of directors will become a directional decision between the party currents of the AfD. What he knows so far about possible candidates is not to be expected, he said. At the same time, Gauland directed serious allegations at the address of the previous party leader Jörg Meuthen, who is not running again for the post.

In recent years, Meuthen has “subjected the AfD to the scheme of opposing directions and thus promoted ideas of an alleged right-wing extremism that have absolutely nothing to do with our party and its members.” Meuthen said and did a lot, “which no longer makes him appear suitable to be party chairman,” said Gauland.

With regard to the strategic orientation of the AfD, Gauland believes that cooperation with parts of the Union is possible: “We have to think about working with another party in the long term. That can only be the Union.” This must also have an interest in it: “If the new coalition does not do everything wrong, but works to a certain extent, then the Union will no longer have an option to govern for a long time – unless it considers cooperation with us.”

In a jointly written circular to the members, the party leadership also announced its decision from the beginning of August to initiate party exclusion proceedings against the Lower Saxony state chief Jens Kestner and the general secretary of the state association, Nicolas Lehrke. The planned eviction, on which the AfD regional arbitration court has to decide first, had caused some unrest in the party and had also met with incomprehension among some.

Kestner and Lehrke had bypassed the arbitration of the party passed information to the state election control with the aim of questioning the list of candidates for the federal election, it says in the letter that is available to the German press agency. This happened against the background of “unsuccessful candidacies” and endangered the participation of the Lower Saxony state association in the federal election.

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