AfD postpones election of top candidates | Free press

Dresden (dpa) – Still without top candidates and with the image of an anti-ban party, the AfD has ushered in its federal election campaign. Despite measures to contain the corona pandemic, participants at a federal party conference in Dresden spoke out against any form of coercion.

At the start of the two-day party congress with more than 570 delegates present at the trade fair in Dresden, President Jörg Meuthen celebrated because he insisted on a personal event – unlike other parties. The AfD wants to “show that these forbidden orgies, this confinement, this confinement frenzy, that none of this is necessary if you trust people,” Meuthen said in reference to Corona.

Ahead of the debate on the federal election program on September 26, delegates passed a “Corona resolution”. In it, the party demands to “ refrain from any, even indirect, compulsion to conduct tests, vaccinations, including the introduction of so-called rapid test apps and the green vaccination pass, as well as disadvantages for those exempt from masks. “.

The Thuringian state and political group chairman Björn Höcke spoke about a “tested pandemic” and a “test madness” in connection with Corona. He said, “The testing and the number of tests is leading to a pandemic.”

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) called for a contradiction from the AfD. “Anyone who denies the danger of Corona in this way accepts many deaths. The language reveals the character and unfortunately we Germans too often had to experience how words become actions, ”explains Kretschmer.

A majority of the delegates voted to campaign with a top duo. The election of this team of two may not yet take place at the party congress. Instead, the members of the party can decide on this at a later date.

Saxon state and political group chairman Jörg Urban campaigned unsuccessfully for an election at the party congress. He said it was “common sense” that the AfD “used the short time until the federal election on Sept. 26 to announce our top candidates.” Saxon Bundestag member and co-party chairman Tino Chrupalla is being discussed as a possible top candidate. The digital political spokeswoman for the parliamentary group, Joana Cotar from Hesse, may also have hope. Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel formed the top team in the 2017 federal election.

The AfD continues with the slogan “Germany. But normal »in the election campaign. Cotar told news channel Phoenix that it also meant the feeling “that a conservative, which used to be perfectly normal, is somehow right-wing.”

“Normality” has been quashed over the past 16 years by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the ruling parties, Meuthen said, “accompanied by socialist opposition parties such as the so-called Greens and Left, for whom this destruction is not far off and not fast enough. ».

Meuthen also quoted the CDU slogan of the 1976 federal election campaign: “Freedom instead of Socialism.” Today, the AfD stands for freedom, the Greens stand for socialism, Meuthen said.

Chrupalla called on delegates to leave behind “the internal party wars of recent months” and enter the electoral campaign as one campaign. Contrary to the party congress in Kalkar last November, this time Meuthen did not address internal rivalries and disputes within the party. “We have to be ready to take responsibility. The others all fail, it inevitably comes to us, ”he said.

Meuthen gave the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt on June 6 a key position in this year’s elections. “If we get it right this time, we have a great chance in this election to become the strongest political force in a federal state for the first time and even by some distance.” For the first time in the history of the AfD, this would be accompanied by the mandate to form a government. That’s why you need “maximum stake” for this state election campaign.

A motion to prematurely vote Meuthen as party leader was not on the agenda on Saturday. On Sunday, however, there could be a vote on the proposal to allow the re-election of federal board members only twice in the future. This means that it is unlikely that Meuthen will run for the new party leadership election scheduled for the end of November.

When asked about Meuthen, Höcke said to journalists: “I have just made it very clear that, in my opinion, Mr. Meuthen does not have the deep political, historical and philosophical consciousness to lead this party into its position.” He “doesn’t have the ability to integrate to run this party – unfortunately he’s shown that.”

Meuthen is still a face of the party and an important voice for the AfD going forward, Höcke said. He could remain in the orchestra, “but not play the first violin”. Höcke is the best-known representative of a movement in the AfD that is seen by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a right-wing extremist tendency.

The delegates were unanimous in their rejection of the European Union. In Dresden, however, there was no majority for an application entitled “Yes to Dexit”. Instead, an application received approval, according to which Germany’s departure from the European Union and the creation of a new European economic and interest group were deemed necessary.

There were protests on the sidelines of the party congress. About 150 people blocked an access road to the exhibition hall or demonstrated directly in front of the exhibition. According to the police, everything remained peaceful.

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