Right-wing German party secures ‘historic’ win

5 months ago 133

An AfD candidate has been elected as town mayor for the first time

The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has won a mayoral election for the first time, making history in the Saxon town of Pirna. The victory comes less than two weeks after regional authorities designated the AfD as “extremist.

The AfD has enjoyed rising support among German voters in recent months, at a time when the approval ratings of all three parties in the country’s ruling ‘traffic light’ coalition have hit record lows.

Tim Lochner, who represented the AfD, garnered 38.5% of the vote in the second round of voting on Sunday, ahead of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) contender Kathrin Dollinger-Knuth on 31.4%.

The AfD candidate had won 33% of the vote in the first round of polling on November 26, although none of the five candidates secured the absolute majority necessary to win outright, sending the vote to a second stage.

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Two of the original contenders exited the race before the second round and urged their supporters to vote for Dollinger-Knuth. The Green and Left parties also backed her in the December vote, although their support proved insufficient to propel the CDU into first place.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), AfD co-leader Alice Weidel described Lochner’s victory as “historic.

Free Voters party candidate Ralf Thiele, who came in third with 30.1%, said there is a “countrywide trend” that shows the AfD is “becoming stronger.

The Green party branch in Saxony said it was “dismayed” by the election outcome in Pirna, while the Left party called on “all democratic parties” to unite against the AfD.

Earlier this month, the president of the Saxon branch of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Dirk-Martin Christian, announced that the AfD had officially been deemed extremist over its “anti-constitutional agenda.

The new legal status allows the BfV to deploy surveillance and intelligence means to gather information about the right-wing party’s activities without restriction.

Saxony became the third German region to take action against the AfD, after Thuringia and Sachsen-Anhalt.

The party previously garnered 27.5% of the vote in the last regional election in Saxony in 2019.

In October, the AfD recorded its best-ever performance in a western German state, receiving 18.4% of the vote in the Hesse regional election.

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