The political scientist Hans Vorländer has confirmed that the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is increasingly anchored in the Eastern German state, with the party taking on the role of East German lobbyist from both the Left Party and the Christian Democrats (CDU).
“It acts as a party that represents East German interests. A party that cares — and you can often say that it really does,” said the Dresden expert on Tuesday in the WDR.
As Vorländer went on to explain, in the elections, the AfD put up candidates in the region that were craftsmen, police officers, and engineers who could bind local communities. In this way, the party develops a sense of affiliation, from which it can then draw, according to a report from Junge Freiheit.
“So the soundboard is there, and it leads to the election results,” said Vorländer.
When asked whether the AfD was a people’s party, the 67-year-old expert said that if the AfD plans to act as a representative of neglected and silent citizens of the East, then one already gets the impression that the AfD is something like a “people’s party”.
People’s parties not only offer a broad-based program but also a narrative that goes beyond that, and people will vote for such a party because it fits their attitude towards life.
The results in East Germany have been discussed since the federal elections. Saxony’s regional development minister, Thomas Schmidt (CDU), said on Tuesday that the strong performance of the AfD in the Görlitz district is damaging the state.
“It’s definitely not a tailwind,” he added.
According to the DPA news agency, Schmidt emphasized that the region does not need a “negative image.”
Former Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU), told the Sächsische Zeitung on Tuesday that, above all, the AfD owes its success to the East German protest stance.
“It is not strong on its own. Its voters are still interested in protesting, especially against the CDU,” said de Maizière.
Many AfD voters were fed by the aversion of many East Germans to West German domination, mass migraiton, excesses of modern life, the energy transition, and the bureaucracy in the country.
“The causes are deeper and do not necessarily lie in the region,” noted de Maizière.