Posted on June 20, 2024

Germany Moves Closer to AfD Ban

Denes Albert, Remix, June 18, 2024

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is now the second most popular party in the country, is moving closer to being banned. Christian Democrat (CDU) MP Marco Wanderwitz says he has enough MPs in his corner to table a motion for an AfD ban in the Bundestag.

He noted that he has gathered 37 MPs who will support the ban while speaking with the far-left newspaper taz.

Wanderwitz is still waiting on the Münster Higher Administrative Court. That court has since agreed with the classification of the AfD as a “suspected right-wing extremist” organization in May; however, the court has not yet released a written justification behind its decision. Wanderwitz says he is waiting for the court to release its written report before moving forward with a ban proposal.

“Once the reasons for the ruling are available, we will take a close look at it and then submit our updated and well-founded application for a ban,” announced Wanderwitz. The court has at least five months from the date of its decision to release its written report, but it is unclear what the court will publish in its response.

If the Bundestag votes on a ban, the Constitutional Court, Germany’s highest court, would have the final decision on whether a ban is legal. In any case, an actual ban could throw the German political system into turmoil and raise questions about democratic legitimacy in Germany.

Notably, Wanderwitz lost his own seat to an AfD politician during local elections, making a ban personal for him. The AfD’s success in the east of Germany, where it is the number one party and likely to win several regional elections in the autumn, also means that the governing parties are facing the prospect of completely losing power in a number of German states. In some cases, their vote totals may be so low that they are completely kicked out of state parliaments, giving them a strong incentive to seek out a ban of the rival AfD. These eastern states may even become ungovernable without the AfD’s participation in government, which is upping the ante for the mainstream parties to fast-track a ban.

Other parties besides the CDU are racing to secure a ban of the party, which has surged on the popularity of its anti-immigration and anti-war proposals. Green politician Marcel Emmerich is calling on the conference of interior ministers to set up a task force against the AfD, which would collect evidence to support a ban.

“The AfD is a security risk for people and democracy,” he told the taz newspaper.

Notably, the open borders policies of the ruling mainstream parties have fueled a huge increase in violent crime in Germany, with approximately 6 out of 10 violent crimes committed by foreigners in 2023, a record high. Violent crime also hit a record high in the same year. Recently, a wave of knife attacks has made constant headlines in Germany, including an Afghan radical who killed a German police officer in Mannheim and another Afghan who attacked German football fans while they were watching the European Football Championships in Wolmirstedt. The latter stabbed one 23-year-old man to death and then attacked another party where he wounded three men, two seriously, before being shot dead.

The AfD has long argued that these attacks are the real security threat in Europe.

The red-red-green government in Bremen is also supporting such a task force, and Social Democrat (SPD) interior ministers are looking to discuss the issue of an AfD ban at a conference on Wednesday.