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Because of the ongoing legal proceedings, the Federal Office itself is currently not giving a public opinion on the question of the AfD’s assessment. “With a view to the ongoing proceedings and out of respect for the court, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is not making a public statement on this matter,” said the Cologne authority.
The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang
This week, however, the Federal Office gave the Cologne administrative court extensive insight into its assessment of the AfD. The party defends itself in an urgent procedure with legal means against a possible classification as a right-wing extremist suspected case. In principle, this classification also enables informants who report from the party to the domestic secret service to be recruited.
Protection of the constitution on hold
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution had promised the court that it would not use intelligence services to monitor candidates and members of the party until the end of the urgent proceedings. In addition, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution wants to refrain from publicly announcing whether it classifies the AfD as a suspected case or a certain right-wing extremist tendency until the proceedings are concluded.
The court thereupon determined that, in view of the statements made by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, observation using intelligence means during the duration of the urgent proceedings could only affect the simple members of the party.
Party leader Chrupalla: “Scandalous approach”
“The action of the protection of the constitution is scandalous,” said the AfD chairman Tino Chrupalla. “Although the authority is not allowed to announce the classification as a suspected case, it is launching appropriate information to the media in order to influence the democratic party competition to the detriment of the AfD.”
The AfD chairman Tino Chrupalla
AfD parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel wants to take legal action against the classification as a suspected case. “The Office for the Protection of the Constitution acts purely politically on the question of the AfD,” Weidel explained in Stuttgart. This is particularly noteworthy in view of the upcoming state and federal elections this year. She is sure that such a classification of the AfD will not stand before the Federal Constitutional Court, said the party chairman in Baden-Württemberg.
Union politicians not surprised
The legal policy spokesman for the CSU regional group in the Bundestag, Volker Ullrich, told Deutsche Welle that the decision by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution was no surprise after the “experiences with the party’s actors and their increasing radicalization.” It clearly shows that the core of the AfD is against democracy and the liberal order. If you are in the public service, you should now carefully consider whether you want to continue to be involved in the AfD, Ullrich told DW.
The domestic political spokesman for the Union parliamentary group, Mathias Middelberg, was not surprised by the classification of the AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case. “The party has never clearly distanced itself from right-wing extremists like Mr. Höcke,” criticized Middelberg (CDU) with a view to the Thuringian AfD country chief Björn Höcke. It is now up to the party to “evade surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution with a purification process.” But it is questionable whether she will succeed.
sti / se (afp, dpa, DW)
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Office Protection Constitution declares AfD suspected rightwing extremist case Germany