Germany: AfD ban proposal struggles to gain traction in parliament, but next year could be different

“All people who work for the party would immediately lose their jobs… We would reduce the structure of the AfD to zero”

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody
CDU MP Marco Wanderwitz says the AfD, the second most popular party in the country, must be banned to save democracy. (Source: Wanderwitz.de)

A Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician who lost to an Alternative for Germany (AfD) politician in his local elections is on a one-man mission to ban the party, but is struggling to gather the require signatures from fellow MPs. However, after a court ruling in February next year, efforts to ban the party may pick up steam.

The 48-year-old Marco Wanderwitz has so far failed to make progress with his signature campaign, which requires 37 MPs, 5 percent of all MPs, to introduce a motion in parliament. He is aiming to gather the required number of signatures by the end of the year.

“I’m having a lot of good conversations, I’m getting a lot of encouragement,” Wanderwitz told taz newspaper. “I am optimistic.” However, he will divulge how many MPs have so far said they were willing to sign his motion.

Wanderwitz, who hails from Chemnitz in the east of Germany, lost his constituency to AfD’s Mike Moncsek, but has been able to stay in the German parliament because the CDU kept him on its list of candidates for Saxony. Ever since his loss to an AfD candidate, he has been one of the most vocal politicians in all of parliament about banning the party.

Remix News reported on his efforts earlier in the year, where he appeared on the Panorama state-run television program from ARD, where he said democracy needs to be saved by banning the party. The AfD is not only the second most popular party in Germany, but in Wanderwitz’s home state of Saxony, it is the single most popular party. Furthermore, nearly half of Germans say they could imagine a coalition government that includes the AfD.

“We are dealing with a party that seriously endangers our free democratic basic order and the state as a whole,” which is why “it is high time to ban them,” said Wanderwitz on the ARD program.

Wanderwitz not only wants the party banned, but says he wants everyone involved in the AfD to be jobless following a ban.

“All people who work for the party would immediately lose their jobs. All mandates, from honorary local councilors to seats in the European Parliament, would be forfeited immediately. All employees of MPs and parliamentary groups at all levels would immediately lose their jobs. We would reduce the structure of the AfD to zero,” he said. After the ban, he claims that people would vote for “democratic parties” again.

Although Wanderwitz’s efforts have so far fallen short, the CDU MP says he is waiting for a Feb. 27 Higher Administrative Court decision from Münster, which will rule on a complaint filed by the AfD against the domestic intelligence agency the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).

Wanderwitz says he hopes the judges there will confirm that AfD is a “suspected right-wing extreme organization,” at which time, his efforts to ban the party might gain steam.

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