Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Germany’s Far-Right Afd Elects New Leaders as Radical’s Rise

Germany’s Far-Right Afd Elects New Leaders as Radical’s Rise

BERLIN - Germany's far-right AfD party will elect new leaders on Saturday, with its increasingly influential radical wing seeking to tighten its grip on the group after a series of electoral victories.
The anti-migrant party's extremists have the upper hand following a series of electoral gains in eastern regions in September and October that have caused widespread domestic and international consternation.
Underlining the polarising effect the party has on Germany, up to 12,000 protesters are expected to gather outside the congress hall in the city of Braunschweig to demonstrate against what they call a racist party.
On Friday night around a thousand protesters, all dressed in black, marched through the center of the city, heeding the call of an anti-fascist group.
Volkswagen, whose name is on the hall used by the AfD, has requested for its logo to be covered up.
Within the hall, tensions are also set to run high as 78-year-old Alexander Gauland is expected to step down from his co-chairman role, while 58-year-old Joerg Meuthen is set to defend his seat against a challenge from party radicals.
Bjoern Hoecke, the leader of the radical Fluegel ("Wing"), has not directly put forward his name for Gauland's spot.
But anyone seeking the post would have to get the backing of his faction, which is known for its criticism of Germany's culture of remembrance.
One likely candidate who might please all sides is Tino Chrupalla, a 44-year-old MP and former house-painter from the eastern state of Saxony.
Chrupalla, who met with former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon in Berlin earlier this year, can count on the support of Hoecke's Fluegel.
Meuthen, a university professor from western Germany, represents the more moderate wing of the party. (AFP)