Posted on June 26, 2023

Germany’s Far-Right AfD Wins Vote to Lead District for First Time

Reuters, June 25, 2023

A far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate won a vote on Sunday to become a district leader in Europe’s biggest economy for the first time, a breakthrough for the party which has hit record highs in national polls.

The 10-year old AfD, with which Germany’s mainstream parties officially refuse to cooperate due to its radical views, won a run-off vote in the Sonneberg district in the eastern state of Thuringia with its candidate garnering 52.8% of the vote.

It is the latest success for the party which is riding a wave of popular discontent with Social Democrat Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s awkward coalition {snip}

Polling at 19%-20%, behind the opposition conservatives, the AfD is tapping into voter fears about recession, migration and the green transition {snip}


Particularly strong in the former Communist East, polls suggest the party may win three eastern state votes next year.

A clear victory for the AfD’s Robert Sesselmann in the district, which has a population of only around 56,000 people, sends a signal to Berlin, say analysts, especially as all other parties in Sonneberg joined forces in a front against him.