AfD elects pro-NATO candidate to lead
Germany's Eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany has elected two new top candidates for the September general election.
Published: April 23, 2017, 4:33 pm
Last week, the party’s leading politician, Frauke Petry, said she wouldn’t be available as candidate for the chancellorship.
Members of the AfD elected Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel on Sunday at their party convention in Cologne.
Gauland, 76, is one of the party’s most prominent members and considered one of Petry’s main rivals. Weidel, 38, is a consultant from southwestern Germany. Divisions erupted among the different factions of German Eurosceptics as delegates from the AfD rejected an appeal Saturday by Petry to seek a pragmatic solution.
Petry introduced a motion in which she said the AfD should be open to join coalitions in future, instead of only being a “fundamental” opposition party, but such a discussion was rejected by a majority of delegates around midday.
It was the former CDU functionary Gauland who criticized Petry and Pretzell in the past for their alliance with the French Front National and its leader Marine Le Pen while he preferred to be closer to French liberal-conservative Francois Fillon.
In Stuttgart last year, the AfD had debated Germany’s membership of NATO. The draft for a basic program, which was submitted by the federal executive committee as a guiding principle, did not provide for a withdrawal from the Western military alliance.
The Thuringian AfD party and parliamentary party leader Björn Höcke questioned NATO membership. Höcke explained to Die Welt that the AfD was about “German interests” – and “unconstrained about taboos for foreign policy”.
On the subject of defense policy, there were already numerous amendments during a previous AfD party congress, which were supportive of Höcke. Supported by more than 50 members, the party direction had previously been quite frank: “We call for the withdrawal from NATO.”
The Brandenburg AfD boss Gauland, however, told the conservative weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit: “I am personally of the opinion that Germany is right to be in NATO right now.” A Germany without NATO involvement would provoke mistrust among its neighbors, he added. “We do not have to start such a project,” said Gauland.
Two police officers have meanwhile been injured and a car was set on fire when violent leftist mobs in Cologne, tried to stop the anti-immigration party holding their convention.
Broadcaster n-tv showed a mob of around 50 demonstrators clashing with mounted police. A television correspondent said police had used pepper spray against some of the demonstrators.
Some 600 AfD delegates were meeting to shape policy for September’s national elections, but had to rely on heavy police protection to enter the convention centre.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
ANO, the Czech party led by a billionaire, is the clear favourite in a general election taking place this weekend where traditional parties most likely will face an uphill battle.
Leftist activists at the Frankfurt Book Fair interrupted an event held by a member of the AfD party and a conservative publishing house.
A huge demonstration held by tens of thousands of British citizens against jihadism in their own country, attracted little mainstream media attention.
A thousands-strong multinational NATO battalion stationed in Romania is part of the ongoing military buildup of NATO aimed at Russia.
At the opening gala of the Frankfurt Book Fair on Tuesday night, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron appealed to their audience for more "tolerance and diversity" and books to counter the rise of nationalism.
A respected French philosopher, Damien Le Guay, believes that by refusing to acknowledge we are in a state of civil war with radical Islam, we are in fact only aggravating the situation.
Austria's election campaign has been rocked by a massive scandal when it was disovered that the ruling party of Chancellor Christian Kern had attacked its biggest challenger on Facebook using xenophobic memes and conspiracy theories.
Parties in the German Bundestag want nothing to do with their 93 new AfD colleagues and nobody wants to sit next to them. Since the deputies can not be placed in the hemisphere of the Reichstag or a floor lower, a solution will have to be found.
In an attempt to clamp down on illegal immigration, the French government is going to start detaining immigrants on the expulsion list for up to 90 days.
BerlinIn a dramatic development, the AfD's rise on the national stage in Germany, has sent tremors through the political establishment. The AfD said it would challenge Merkel's decision to open German borders without Bundestag approval.