Saxony’s Constitutional Court dismissed the purely party-politically machinations by the State Electoral Committee with a resounding slap in the face. The AfD list, which was shrunk to only 18 out of the original 61 candidates, now has to be extended to at least 30 applicants for the federal state in eastern Germany.
This state’s legal protection was justified because of the “high probability” of an unlawful decision by the State Electoral Committee to the detriment of Saxony’s AfD. “The final court verdict expected on 16 August is therefore already clearly foreseeable on this issue,” said Frank Bräutigam, ARD legal expert.
Eventually, even the complete list of 61 candidates could be allowed, but that would not alter the outcome of the state election much since all polls based on AfD results have shown a maximum of 35 seats in the state’s parliament.
In retrospect, however, the power of cartel parties is alarming. In order to hold back an actual opposition, the ruling political class was ready to break the law and to undermine basic rules of equal opportunities in a democratic elections, says Wiener.
The decision of the Constitutional Court was actually not possible according to Saxony’s electoral rules but because the threat of illegal interference in a democratic election could have been so devastating, the judges acted to protect the notion of an opposition.
The rules in their current form are open to party-politically motivated and grossly illegal manipulations. And the cartel parties “had no inhibitions to try this in practice, as the scandal of Saxony’s state election has impressively demonstrated,” Wiener argued.
“Once again, it became clear where in Germany the enemies of democracy and constitutional order really are and which parties a domestic intelligence service should actually be ‘checking’,” Wiener concluded.
Saxony’s AfD had appealed to the Federal Constitutional Court as well as to Saxony’s Constitutional Court. In Karlsruhe, the complaint was rejected for formal reasons. The judges also pointed out that states guarantee the protection of suffrage.
The AfD had spoken of a plot to weaken it as a political competitor. It is currently ahead of the CDU in the polls in a neck-and-neck race for the position as the strongest force in the state.