The far-right Alternative for Germany on Saturday elected two prominent figures to lead the party for the next two years, after one of its co-chairmen resigned in January and said it had become too radical.
Deputies voted for Alternative for Germany’s remaining co-chair, Tino Chrupalla, to co-chair parliamentary caucus leader Alice Weidel.
The vote became necessary after European lawmaker Joerg Meuthen stepped down from the leadership in January, warning that the party runs the risk of being driven into “total isolation and still further to the political edge” at its current rate.
Meuthen was the party’s third leader to resign since Alternative for Germany was founded in 2013. All cited extremist tendencies within the party which also made it the subject of investigation by Germany’s domestic intelligence service.
The party, which was initially formed in opposition to the euro currency, swerved to the right in 2015 to capitalize on resentment against migrants and entered the federal parliament for the first time in 2017. Lately, it has opposed almost all pandemic restrictions and Western sanctions against Russia against the war in Ukraine.
The party, known under its German acronym AfD, received just over 10% of the vote in last year’s national election.
Delegates at AfD’s congress in the eastern town of Riesa also voted in favor of changing its statutes on Friday so that the party could be headed by a single leader in the future. The proposal was advocated by Bjoern Hoecke, the party’s leader in the state of Thuringia, who is considered to be on the far right of the party and who advocated revisionist views of Germany’s Nazi past.
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