AfD wins landslide victory in Saxony mayoral race

By John Cody
3 Min Read

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) continues a string of electoral victories in the east of the country, this time with a landslide win for the mayorship of a town in the state of Saxony.

Rolf Weigand scored his resounding victory in the first round of voting in Großschirma, with 59.4 percent of the vote. He trounced his competitors, including André Erler of the Independent Citizens’ Association (UBV) and Gunther Zschommler of the Christian Democrats (CDU), who scored 22.3 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.

His ability to score over 50 percent in the first round means there is no need for a second round of voting and he automatically wins his position.

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The early election was called after Volkmar Schriter of the Free Democrats (FDP) committed suicide after holding office for 19 years.

Although a small town, the win for AfD comes after a string of victories, including mayoral races in the larger city of Pirna and the town of Raguhn-Jeßnitz. It will also be welcome news for the party following a coordinated media campaign and demonstrations “against the right” following a controversial and contested report that the AfD was planning mass deportations. Since then, the left and center-left Christian Democrats (CDU) have worked to beat back the AfD’s continued polling success, which shows it remains the second most popular party in the country at 19 percent in the latest INSA poll.

In Saxony in particular, the party continues to show its strength, scoring 34 percent in one of the latest polls and remaining in first place.

With his win, the 39-year-old Weigand becomes the third AfD mayor in the country. Weigand, an engineer in ceramics, glass and building materials technology, also realized his victory with an abnormally high turnout of 74 percent of 4,400 eligible voters. The town is situated 30 kilometers west of Dresden and has 6,000 residents.

“I also assure those who did not vote for me that I will carry out my office in a non-partisan manner as announced,” he said after his win.

In mid-December, the AfD’s Tim Lochner won his mayoral seat in the city of Pirna, also located in Saxony in the vicinity of Dresden. Hannes Loth became the first AfD mayor after his July win in the Saxony-Anhalt town of Raguhn-Jeßnitz.

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