Suhl / Berlin (dpa) – Ex-Constitution Protection Chairman Hans-Georg Maaßen has split from the AfD after his freestyle as a Thuringian direct candidate for the Bundestag.
With his reputation and supporters, he wanted to get votes from the AfD in the Bundestag elections on Sept. 26 and help defend the chancellery for the CDU, the 58-year-old said after his election as a direct candidate in the South Thuringian constituency. 196. A collaboration with the AfD, which has been radicalized, is out of the question, according to Maaßen. Criticism of his appointment came from the Greens, the SPD and the left.
CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak said he expected each candidate to be clearly committed to the values and politics of the CDU and to distinguish it sharply from the AfD. “I now assume that Mr. Maaßen will do everything he can to ensure that the CDU can vote together,” Ziemiak told the editorial network Germany (RND). “Hans-Georg Maaßen is a marginal figure on the democratic spectrum with whom most Christian Democrats have little in common,” CDU federal board member Karin Prien told Funke media group newspapers.
Maaßen is politically controversial because of, among other things, his position on the refugee policy of the federal government. He was elected Friday night in Suhl with 86 percent of the vote against a rival candidate by the delegates of four CDU district associations. His South Thuringian constituency is considered sensitive to the CDU after traditional candidate Mark Hauptmann left the CDU in the course of the mask affair.
The Thuringian-born Green Group leader in the Bundestag, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, wrote on Twitter: “With # Maaßen, the CDU opens its doors to the right.” CDU boss and chancellor candidate Armin Laschet urgently needs to answer the question of whether and how he will show a clear advantage on the other side. Michael Kellner, CEO of the Greens, assessed Maaßen’s staff on Twitter as a signal that the CDU was leaving the center.
The parliamentary manager of the SPD faction, Carsten Schneider, described Maassen as “ideologues and agitators”. With the nomination, the CDU crossed a line to the far right, Schneider, who is from Thuringia, wrote on Twitter. The state SPD also tweeted that the CDU was fishing on the right. “We are sending East German sports legend Frank Ullrich into the race against # Maaßen and not leaving him behind in the constituency,” said the SPD, referring to the former world-class biathlete.
Left Federal Chairman Susanne Hennig-Wellsow told the Funke newspapers, “The firewall on the right is gone.” The democratic parties on this side of the Union must do everything possible now to prevent a Maaßen from being in the next Bundestag, ”said Hennig-Wellsow.
Maaßen announced that he would support the Union candidate for Chancellor, Armin Laschet, in the election campaign. “We stand behind our candidate for chancellor.” The 58-year-old said of his relationship with Laschet: “I don’t think we are that far apart.” Discussion distinguishes a people’s party like the CDU. He wanted the constituency where he took an apartment, “not represented from the back seat.”
“Our claim is that the constituency is not covered by the AfD or the left,” said the CDU Schmalkalden-Meiningen district chairman Ralf Liebaug, at the meeting of representatives He had Maaßen, who is from North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin, in the game. Maassen is a good option to ‘preserve the constituency’, said district chairman of Hildburghausen, Christopher Other. The CDU in southern Thuringia is not about sending a political signal towards the AfD. “The incompatibility decision applies,” stressed the 31-year-old.
At the time, as chairman of the Constitutional Protection Office, Maaßen was heavily criticized for doubting that foreigners would be “hunted” after the murder of a German in Chemnitz. In November 2018, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) temporarily retired him.