Germany prepares to take on a new boom of the extreme right in Sunday elections in the east of the country

BERLIN, 31 Aug. (DPA / EP) –

The German ultra-right aspires to become the first political force in Brandenburg and Saxony after the elections to be held this Sunday in these two regions of the country.

The polls, in fact, suggest that the Alternative Xenophobe for Germany (AfD) will consolidate its recent political achievements and increase support in the two eastern states of the country.

Germany prepares to take on a new boom of the extreme right in Sunday elections in the east of the country
Germany prepares to take on a new boom of the extreme right in Sunday elections in the east of the country

“AfD has gained significant weight since the last elections in Brandenburg and Saxony (five years ago) as well as at the national level,” explained political scientist Arndt Leininger of the Free University of Berlin.

“The Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) have lost support since the 2017 national elections, both regionally and federally,” he added

The success of AfD would represent another major setback for the great political parties. It would also threaten the future of Merkel's fragile ruling coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and raise new doubts about the possible successor to Merkel, the CDU leader and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

In addition, another electoral setback for the weakened SPD would probably strengthen the social democratic faction that claims to leave the Merkel executive.

The collapse of the Berlin coalition could mark the end of the Merkel era and trigger new elections or pave the way for a weak minority government.

But despite a series of power struggles in its dome, recent polls show that the SPD has regained leadership in the intention to vote in Brandenburg, and is now in a situation of ultra-rightists.

In Saxony, a key economic power in eastern Germany, the far-right party aims to overthrow the government led by the CDU.

The battle for Brandenburg and Saxony will probably be repeated in October, when another state in eastern Germany, Thuringia, goes to the polls and where AfD is already campaigning for “mass deportations” of those who have no legal right To stay in the region.

The outcome of the elections also now threatens to overshadow this year's celebrations that commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

Many East Germans feel second-class citizens in the new United Germany, according to Dresden Technical University analyst Hans Vorländer. The expert has specified that AfD is trying to take advantage of the feeling of many in the east that German unification has failed to deliver on its promises.

“Dissatisfaction with political parties and the practice of democracy have increased dramatically,” said Vorländer.

“Why did they go out in 1989? Why did they cause the wall to fall? Only to be insulted today as Nazis only because they criticize mass immigration and its disastrous consequences,” denounced Brandenburg AfD leader Andreas Kalbitz

Founded in 2013 as a Eurosceptic party, AfD turned more to the right with the massive arrival of refugees in 2015 and promoted a program against Islam, against foreigners and in favor of the family. It is now represented in all German Parliaments, both in the 16 regional and federal parliament.

The SPD could lose power after having led governments in Brandenburg. This would represent a new blow for the party, which is currently seeking new presidency.

Surveys anticipate a similar situation of the SPD in Saxony, where the party fails to collect even 10 percent of the votes.

On the other hand, if on Sunday the CDU loses a lot of ground, this could give wings to the members of the group that demand that the party face the AfD with a harder and more right-wing message.

A greater than expected loss for the CDU would mean that “AKK (Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer) will be under even greater pressure,” Leininger warned.

They could also diminish Kramp-Karrenbauer's chances of succeeding Merkel as chancellor after being criticized for a series of low-key statements.

“Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer almost never misses the opportunity to take a false step,” lamented the political scientist at the University of Leipzig Hendrik Träger. “It seems very unfortunate as a party leader.”

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