Couples (dpa) – The AfD in Berlin will be headed by Kristin Brinker in the future. At a party conference in Paaren near Berlin, the 49-year-old financial expert of the Chamber of Deputies won the upper hand against MP Beatrix von Storch on Saturday and only by the fourth vote.
After there was a stalemate in three ballots and no candidate had the required majority, 122 delegates voted Brinker on the fourth attempt and 120 Von Storch. A deputy turned down both candidates, two abstained. The vote corresponds to an approval of 50.2 percent for Brinker. If she had only gotten one less vote, it wouldn’t have been enough for a majority.
Earlier, the delegates had rejected a double leadership by a narrow majority and voted for a chairman. Von Storch and the leader of the Berlin House of Representatives, Georg Pazderski, wanted a double leadership. Pazderski did not even run for election at the time. He led the AfD regional association from 2016 to 2017 together with von Storch and then as the sole head of the country until January 2020.
Since then, the Berlin AfD has not had a regularly elected board and has been provisionally headed by MEP Nicolaus Fest. She had to cancel planned party conventions several times because she could not find a place. Finally she fled into the area.
Brinker is classified in the liberal-conservative camp and has long been considered an opponent of Pazderski. He likes to be moderate and thinks the AfD regional association is in the middle class. Brinker’s stated supporters include representatives of various movements up to the officially disbanded “wing” around the right wing and the Thuringian AfD boss Björn Höcke.
In June 2020, Brinker and other AfD MPs criticized in a letter that there was a “climate of mistrust and destructiveness” in the parliamentary group led by Pazderski. Background included litigation and legal disputes about the group’s finances and an auditor’s opinion. In August 2020, Brinker stepped down as deputy group leader.
She announced her candidacy for the state presidency a few days ago. At the party congress, she said she wanted to bring a “breath of fresh air” to the party in the super election year. She also announced that she would overcome rifts and take on board all AfD currents. The AfD – currently the fifth largest of six parliamentary groups in the Berlin state parliament – is to participate in the election campaign for the elections to the House of Representatives and the Bundestag on September 26.
Pazderski described Brinker’s choice as “unsatisfactory”. “Because Mrs Brinker has not only destroyed a lot of porcelain in the parliamentary group in recent months and has thus permanently divided the party. This is also evident from the extremely tight result, ”he said when asked by the dpa. Brinker now has to deliver quick results and heal wounds. And she had to take the lead in organizing tripartite conferences and the election campaign for the Bundestag and the House of Representatives in the shortest possible time.