Kalkar (AP) – AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen has called on his party to distance himself from rioters and provocateurs in its own ranks and warned them to disappear into political insignificance.
“What we need most of all is internal party discipline,” Meuthen said at the AfD federal party conference in Kalkar. “This includes the impeccable behavior of all officials and full members, from parliament to the roadside.” Among other things, the party leader criticized the fact that some in the AfD spoke of the “Corona dictatorship”, did not distance themselves from the so-called lateral thinker movement, and used the term “enabling law”.
“It cannot and must not continue like this,” demanded Meuthen in his speech, which sounded like a lecture for a long time and was also greeted with a booing at the end. “Either we get the curve here, very determined and very quickly. Or we as a party will find ourselves in very, very rough seas in the not-distant future and may fail.
The approximately 600 delegates, of whom just over 500 attended Saturday afternoon, want to adopt a social-political concept on Sunday evening and elect multiple posts. They meet in a hall that is subject to strict safety regulations from the local authorities due to the corona pandemic. All delegates must wear a mask permanently, even when seated. After every 50 minutes, all doors to the hall must be opened for ventilation for 10 minutes. The city of Kalkar has announced that it will end the party congress if necessary if the conditions are not met.
Several hundred people demonstrated in the city on the Lower Rhine against the meeting of right-wing populists. The alliance “Stand up against racism” called for the meeting. Members of the Bundestag from almost all parties spoke out at a meeting.
The second federal chairman, Tino Chrupalla, replied to the assembly’s critics amid the corona pandemic that party conferences were indispensable in party democracy. This requires lively debates. “If we let a virus put us in our place, democracy has already lost its rights.” At the same time, Chrupalla appealed to delegates to adhere to the hygiene concept. “Wear your masks on your seat. Keep your distance. “
As not all delegates took this to heart, which could also be seen live on television, some delegates called for the exclusion of the media. “We do not have to provide the photos that it does not quite work out,” said the Freiburg AfD city council and the far-right party Dubravko Mandic. An application to deport the journalists was rejected by a large majority.
Chrupalla criticized the “emergency policies of the federal and state governments” during the Corona crisis. He accused them of wanting to make the exceptional situation normal. “We will not allow the governments on their own to put social and economic life in Germany into a coma.” What the Chancellor and other politicians do with innkeepers, artists and the events industry is “pure bankruptcy”. Existence would be knowingly destroyed, the wave of bankruptcies is already rolling, many people will lose their jobs.
In his contacts with the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution, which views the now-disbanded “wing” of the AfD as a far-right movement, Chrupalla campaigned for calm: “Believe me, dear friends, we are not constantly improving this situation by ourselves. to accuse. ” Chrupalla sternly opposed unconstitutional ideas in her own ranks. “Anyone who has a problem with the Basic Law has nothing to do with our party.”
The party congress then began to discuss the concept of social policy. This provides, among other things, freedom in retirement, the abolition of political pensions, retirement provision for the self-employed and strengthening of private provisions.