During the weekend’s party congress, the populist-right-wing Alternative for Germany agreed the content of the manifesto ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. The AfD’s postulates include a call for Germany to leave the European Union, as well as limiting immigration and lifting the obligation to wear masks.
Almost 600 members of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) came to Dresden in Saxony for the weekend party congress. Delegates met against the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic to agree on the content of the electoral manifesto ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for September.
Among the provisions of the manifesto there was a call for Germany to leave the European Union. “We consider it necessary to withdraw Germany from the European Union and create a new European economic and business community,” it was written. In the opinion of Deutsche Welle, accepting this point is a failure of one of the party’s leaders Joerg Meuthen, who, together with the party’s “moderate wing”, was against including “dexit” in the party’s program.
The AfD also calls for the exclusion of “any family reunification” in the case of refugees and the return of border controls accompanied by “physical barriers” such as fences at Germany’s state borders.
Elsewhere in the election manifesto, one can read that humanitarian aid should be provided only to persons designated by the Bundestag and particularly in need of protection, and “an important selection criterion is cultural and religious origin in accordance with the German system of values and social order”.
The AfD has also explicitly rejected actions by the federal and state governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Delegates decided by a small majority to include the sentence in the election manifesto: “We reject the obligation to wear masks”. It has been argued that this requirement “is based on figures which are not conclusive”. In the original party leadership draft, only the wearing of masks in kindergartens, schools and after-school activities was opposed.
The AfD is getting ready for elections
The alternative for Germany was established in 2013. Four years later, she was admitted to the Bundestag as the first ever Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant grouping. In 2017, the AfD gained 13 percent of the vote, making it the third power in parliament. The Reuters agency noted, however, that internal disputes within the party led to a decline in the party’s support in polls.
Currently, the party can count on around 11 percent of the vote, according to a Politico poll. This marks the fourth election result in Germany, behind the ruling CDU / CSU (27 percent), the Greens (22 percent) and the SPD (16 percent).
Parliamentary elections in Germany will take place on September 26.
PAP, Reuters, Deutsche Welle
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / FILIP SINGER