Kalkar (AP) – AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen was harshly attacked during the federal party conference in Kalkar for his opening speech on Saturday. The critics accused him of harming the party and the party congress and of dividing the party.
A deputy said he had misused his speech “to shoot huge parts of the party and shoot at parts of our electorate.” A request to denounce Meuthen’s “divisive attitude” and the “allegations of the welcome speech” failed. A narrow majority prevented him from being voted.
“We need leadership that is courageous and kind,” said Birgit Bessin of the Brandenburg State Association, neither of whom is featured in Meuthen. Meuthen had misused the stage “for accounting”, possibly because his proposals for a pension concept could not apply to himself. “Anyone who demands discipline from the party should lead by example and not misuse this phase to settle unpleasant party members.”
“Are you kidding?” Asked Norbert Kleinwächter, member of the Bundestag, from Brandenburg. Rather than sparking public debate about the party leader, criticism should be discussed internally. However, his call to end the debate found no support. Federal board member Stephan Brandner then called Meuthen’s speech a “torpedo”. He called out to Meuthen: “This path is a wrong path, this path is wrong, you divide the party. Come back to us, you only help the old parties. “
Meuthen defended his speech. He accused the critics of “deliberate ideological distortion” and strictly dismissed the charge of division. “I have called for a new unity in discipline. And that actually seems urgent to me. “The AfD has a difficult election year ahead and is currently only seven percent in polls.” I want the success of our party with all my heart, “emphasized Meuthen.” But we will only achieve this success with a serious attitude. ” The AfD must be a “party of civil reason”.
In his speech on Saturday, Meuthen sharply criticized “provocateurs” in his own ranks and urged the party to “discipline”. He warned against aggressive behavior and uninhibited use of language, as well as unconditional commonality with the movement of the “lateral thinkers”.
The chairman of the AfD group, Alexander Gauland, had to leave the party congress on Sunday morning. As a spokesman for the German news agency confirmed, the 79-year-old was feeling unwell. But it is nothing serious. A vein had burst in the honorary president’s nose. According to information from party circles, Gauland left the site in an ambulance accompanied by two vehicles with Berlin number plates.
Co-parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel told the delegates at 12 noon: “Alexander Gauland asked me to send warm greetings from the hospital and he is doing well.” His health problem is just a “little thing”, he is doing well. Gauland also sharply criticized Meuthen on Saturday.