A report in the New York Times says that Sunday’s vote in Saxony-Anhalt (eastern Germany) will test the strength of the AfD in the east.
Five years ago, the Alternative for Germany party caused a scramble for the country’s traditional parties, when it came right behind the conservative Christian Democrats led by Chancellor Angela Merkel in the regional vote in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, and that was a harbinger of the growing attractiveness of the “right”. the extremist.” Read also Populism will take over… Will Europe turn into an age of nightmares?The right as a global organization.. What drives the European right to support Hindu extremists?Refusal to ban the minicab in Germany .. Who is the “Turkish Armin”, Merkel’s pro-immigrant successor? He received racist threats.. A Syrian refugee withdraws his candidacy for the German parliament
Significance of Saxony-Anhalt
The report adds that while much in the Saxony-Anhalt election focuses on local issues such as schools and economic restructuring; But the strong showing from the AfD, which rode a wave of anti-immigration sentiment in 2016, could cause headaches for Armin Laschet, who hopes to succeed Merkel as chancellor and has struggled to gain traction in the former East German states.
A poll published last Thursday showed that the Christian Democrats had 30% support in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, by a comfortable margin of 7 percentage points, ahead of the AfD, which currently holds 88 seats in the German parliament.
The report noted that in 2016, Germany was adjusting to the arrival of more than a million immigrants the year before, and Saxony-Anhalt was grappling with looming unemployment. While pollsters expected that the AfD, which made itself the anti-immigration party after it was formed in 2013 to protest against the euro, would easily win seats in the State Council, no one expected it to come in second, with the support of more than 24% of the state. .
Since then, the AfD has moved further to the right, capturing the attention of the country’s intelligence services, which have put its leadership under scrutiny over concerns about its anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric and its ties to extremists, according to a New York Times report. Party branches in Brandenburg and Thuringia are also under scrutiny, while the attempt to monitor the National Party has been suspended pending the outcome of the legal challenge.
“The AfD in Saxony-Anhalt has become very powerful, despite the chaotic and dubious scandals. Instead of disintegrating, it consolidated, becoming an increasingly radical opposition force.
The report states that among other parties, the Social Democrats and the left together get in the opinion polls from 10% to 12%, and this percentage has not changed over the past four years.
The report adds that both the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are expected to see their popularity nearly double from what they were in 2016; This could make it easier for Rainer Hasseloff, governor of Saxony-Anhalt, to form a government if he returns to office. Analysts said the regional gains were unlikely to have broader implications for the national race.
The New York Times report concludes with Hensel’s testimony, saying, “Saxony-Anhalt is a very special case, it comes from a unique history; but regardless of whether the Green Party gets 10% or the Liberal Democrats get 8% of the vote, a quarter of voters support The Alternative Party, and that deserves attention.”