- The federal government is in shock, and the ruling CDU called for new elections in Thuringia.
- Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, said that cooperation with AfD is unacceptable for mainstream parties.
- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted that whoever does not understand this has learned nothing from our history.
The federal government in Berlin canceled a conference that was scheduled today in the state of Thuringia, due to the election of Thomas Kemmerich, a member of the (liberal) Free Democratic Party, as head of the state government, with the support of the votes of the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party. A discussion with Bodo Ramelow, who was Minister-President of the state until yesterday, was scheduled to be held before this afternoon, as part of the “German Sustainability Strategy Conference.”
After Ramelow failed to obtain the majority of votes in the Thuringian state parliament, the new Minister-President, Kemmerich, wanted to attend the conference as the new head of the German state. However, the Federal Press Office in Berlin made it clear on Wednesday evening that the conference will not take place, due to the events in the state of Thuringia. The office emphasized that “political events would have greatly covered the effort to exchange ideas with public opinion on sustainability policy at the federal and state levels.”
The conference was to be attended by the Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, member of the Christian Democratic Party, to which Chancellor Angela Merkel belongs. Altmaier criticized the FDP, after announcing that one of its members in the state had won the elections, and said that the AfD should be an unacceptable partner for civic-minded parties like the FDP. On his Twitter account, Altmaier confirmed that he, too, supports the demands of his Christian Democratic Party leaders for new elections in the state.
In a related context, thousands of people took to the streets in Berlin, Munich, and other major German cities late Wednesday night, to express their anger at the election of the new Minister-President of Thuringia. The surprise victory marked the first time in German history that a state head of government came to power with the help of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas posted a tweet and said “Whoever does not understand this, he has learned nothing from our history.”
The Christian Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party agreed to hold a meeting on Saturday. The Alternative for Germany has achieved its rise for years amid an increasingly opposing refugee agenda, becoming a major opposition force in state and federal politics. The ruling coalition in Germany includes both the Chancellor’s Union and the Social Democratic Party. The Union consists of the Christian Democratic Party and her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.
What is the Alternative for Germany?
The right-wing populist party, Alternative for Germany, was founded in 2013 as an opposition party to the common European currency, the Euro. The party continues to call for the dismantling of the Eurozone and the return of each of its countries to its national currency. As for ideology, many Germans view it as a conservative-liberal party that adopts some right-wing and racist ideas.