One week before state elections in two large states (Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate) in Germany and six months before the federal election, the largest opposition party in the Bundestag has been declared a constitutional enemy. Such a public pillory is nothing less than an attack on democracy.
The constitutionally protected “equal opportunities of political parties” according to Article 21 of the Basic Law in Germany has become a joke. In other words: The Office for the Protection of the Constitution acted unconstitutionally. And a German administrative court has stepped in to put an end to this madness for the time being.
The spy service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been prohibited from observing the AfD as a suspected case of right-wing extremism. This was decided by the Cologne Administrative Court on Friday.
The abuse of the authorities, which are bound by strict political neutrality, to intervene in democratic competition in a discriminatory manner to the detriment of a political competitor and massively damage the chances of a democratic opposition force, is nothing short of breath-taking. The judges in Cologne obviously recognized this fact.
Mainstream parties, with the help of the intelligence agency, have been trying to force officials to withdraw from the AfD and systematically drive the party into social isolation with the 1100-page report, which spy boss Thomas Haldenwang presumably leaked to his preferred media.
It is so lengthy as to give AfD lawyers a lot of work in countering the attack. The whole process is a tremendous material battle that will require patience. In urgent legal proceedings at the administrative court in Cologne, the AfD took action against the leaked report. The judges ruled that a possible evaluation of the AfD as a suspected case should not be made public before urgent proceedings had ended.
“By the fact that the applicant was classified as a ‘suspected case’ through nationwide media coverage, the equal opportunities of political parties protected by Art. 21.1:1 GG have already been encroached upon in such a way that they are further impaired by the fact that members of the applicant even with a completely insignificant probability of being monitored by the intelligence service solely because of their party affiliation or at least indirectly affected by such measures – especially with regard to the upcoming state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate on March 14, 2021 – is unacceptable,” the court stated.
The spy authority and its political boss, the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, involuntarily revealed to the public what the work of the “Verfassungsschutz” is actually about: Breaking down the opposition and advancing public relations for the consensus parties. And all this, happens shortly before important state elections.
That is why four states in eastern Germany, where the party is particularly popular, had already designated the AfD as a suspected extremist group.
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