Despite the corona pandemic, the AfD is holding a presence party conference in Kalkar next weekend. The North Rhine-Westphalian city announces strict mask controls.
The mayor of the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Kalkar, Britta Schulz, has criticized the planned AfD party conference on the weekend with 600 delegates as “irresponsible”. However, the city cannot ban the event because the Corona Protection Ordinance expressly provides for exceptions for such party events. “It is permissible and must not be banned,” said Schulz, who belongs to a local electoral alliance. The regulatory office announced strict controls of the submitted hygiene concept. In the event of massive violations, the authority also has the right to cancel the event, said the responsible clerk Linda Brähler.
The AfD party congress on November 28th and 29th is mainly about social policy and the by-election of two board members of the party. The venue is the extensive former power plant site in Kalkar with large exhibition halls that can accommodate thousands of visitors. A larger counter-demonstration with around 1,000 participants is planned in front of the venue on Saturday. They are also carefully checked, according to the regulatory office.
“We will punish violations of the rules”
The AfD is suing the North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court against the general mask requirement at the federal party conference. The party sees this as “too far-reaching and therefore disproportionate interventions,” said Federal Board Member Alexander Wolf in advance. A decision is not expected before Thursday.
The NRW Corona Protection Ordinance provides for special regulations and the waiver of a participant limit for party events, “especially assembly meetings (…) for elections and preparatory meetings.” The NRW Ministry of Health also rated the event as permissible.
Despite the general criticism of the AfD of the state measures to contain the corona pandemic, its federal board has already warned the delegates to adhere to the hygiene regulations applicable to the event during the party congress. Because there is great concern that the party congress could otherwise be prematurely broken off by the authorities. “We will punish violations of these rules – regardless of the person,” said AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen of the German press agency.