German politicians move to ban conservative AfD party following ‘Reich citizens’ raid

An suspect, second right, is escorted from a police helicopter by police officers after the arrival in Karlsruhe, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Thousands of police officers carried out raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists who allegedly sought to overthrow the government in an armed coup. Officials said 25 people were detained. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The raid on the Reichsbürger movement involving 3,000 officers is now moving into the political realm, with Germany’s left-liberal ruling coalition using the arrests as a pretext to ban the opposition Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, paradoxically arguing it is a threat to democracy.

Thuringia’s Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) is leading the charge, saying the raid against the so-called “Reich citizens” group is now the basis for an AfD ban.

The party, which advocates strong immigration restriction, has grown increasingly popular over the last year as 1.2 million migrants arrived in Germany. Polls show that the majority of Germans have “big worries” that too many migrants are arriving in the country. At the same time, the AfD is the only major party advocating for an end to sanctions on Russia, arguing the sanctions are harming Germans more than they are harming Russia.

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As Remix News has previously reported, the German left-liberal government, perhaps sensing the AfD’s growing popularity, may be moving to implement a ban on their electoral rivals. Now, Maier says the AfD “is clearly anti-constitutional and barely conceals its desire to eliminate the free democratic basic order.”

Maier told the Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung that the party “clearly meets some criteria that would be the basis for a party ban.”

Those politicians advocating for an AfD point out that the Federal Constitutional Court has argued in the past that the far right NPD was seeking to end Germany’s democratic order but was not eligible for a ban because it did not have the power to implement its goal. However, with the AfD growing in popularity, the left-leaning Karlsruhe court may view the party as a serious enough threat to rule differently.

Following the end of the Second World War, Germany’s democracy was structured in such a way that would allow any party that “threatens” the constitutional order to be banned by the country’s top court. This give the country’s top court large leeway to effectively remove any party that challenges the status quo in Germany.

The Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution has classified the state branch of the AfD as an “assured right-wing extremist endeavor.” Since July, AfD members in that state who own a legal weapon have had their guns confiscated.

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