AfD boss Meuthen prefers Brussels to Berlin – politics


The AfD’s co-party leader, Jörg Meuthen, does not want to move from Brussels to Berlin for the federal election next year. Meuthen wrote on Wednesday to the 30,000 or more members of the party that he would not seek a seat in the Bundestag.

Because he could serve the AfD in Brussels more than in Berlin, the circular continues. Meuthen officially justified his decision with the importance of his mandate in the European Parliament. “Like other national capitals, Berlin threatens to become more and more of a kind of branch establishment and receiver of orders for the Brussels headquarters,” Meuthen explained.

A preliminary decision in the power struggle for the top candidacy for the federal election has thus been made, which has been eagerly awaited in the party. In the AfD there was speculation that Meuthen could try to dispute his rival Alice Weidel for the top candidate in the Baden-Württemberg state association in a fight vote – and thus also play a more important role in Berlin in the future.

Weidel currently heads the parliamentary group together with the AfD honorary chairman Alexander Gauland and also the state association. Weidel therefore claims the first place on the list in Baden-Württemberg for the federal election. Recently it became clear that Meuthen would not be sure of success in a fight vote. Internally, it is therefore also suspected that Meuthen wants to avoid a direct dispute with Weidel in Baden-Württemberg for fear of defeat.

The relationship between the top executives is already considered to be heavily strained. Weidel and Gauland had recently repeatedly criticized Meuthen’s tough approach in the expulsion of the AfD right-winger Andreas Kalbitz from the party.

Last May, Meuthen had the party executive vote on the cancellation of the membership of the former Brandenburg AfD boss. A majority then decided to be expelled. The cancellation, which is related to right-wing extremist references in Kalbitz’s past, has now been confirmed by the party’s arbitration court. Kalbitz, who denies a previous membership in the now banned home loyal German youth, wants to legally defend himself against his expulsion.

It is unclear who will lead the party as the top candidate in the federal election campaign in 2021. It is likely that Weidel will position himself. Neither she nor her co-parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland have so far declared whether they will actually run.

Frustration and fear in the group

The largest opposition party in the German Bundestag finds itself in difficult waters after the turbulence surrounding the dissolution of the extreme right wing party flow and the exclusion of Kalbitz. After the election successes in eastern German federal states last year, the party had poor results, as it did recently in the local elections in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the Bundestag faction there is frustration about the performance and the fear of a crash in the Bundestag election next year.

One of the problems of the party is the ongoing leadership dispute among the top executives. The AfD camp around Meuthen and its opponents in the vicinity of the parliamentary group leader Weidel and co-party leader Tino Chrupalla have been irreconcilable for months. The clashes are also about the future direction of the party.

Meuthen wants to differentiate the AfD more strongly from the right-wing extremist camp, to which he himself has long sought proximity. In his first years as AfD boss, Meuthen had a good connection to leading representatives of the far right wing. He has headed the party as co-leader since 2015.

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