Germany’s anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has scored another victory in another local election, with Jörg Prophet winning the first round of voting on Sunday In the battle for the mayoralty in Nordhausen.
Although the election will head to a second round, the 61-year-old entrepreneur won 42.1 percent of the vote on Sunday, putting him in a strong position to win the run-off vote. The election victory occurred in Thuringia, the same German state where the AfD’s Robert Sesselmann won the Sonneberg district administrator’s office in June, which was the AfD’s first victory for a district administrator.
Prophet will have to compete in two weeks with non-party incumbent Kai Buchmann, who received 23.7 percent.
Voter turnout was 56.4 percent, up from 44.6 percent in the first round of the 2017 election. A runoff becomes necessary if none of the candidates reaches the 50 percent threshold in the first round.
“This means that another success like the one in Sonneberg seems possible, although Nordhausen was not considered an AfD stronghold just a few months ago,” Thuringia’s AfD state spokesman Stefan Möller said about the results in Nordhausen, an industrial and university city with a population of 41,000.
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State party leader Björn Höcke wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he was sure the AfD would be able to provide its first mayor in two weeks.
“With an impressive result, our candidate Jörg Prophet was able to get into a very good starting position in the mayoral race in Nordhausen. Now, it’s going to the runoff election, and I’m sure that in the end, the AfD in Thuringia will provide the first mayor nationwide. Good luck in the decisive round!” wrote Höcke.
Commentators have made light of the fact that Prophet’s contenders include candidates with the last names Trump and Marx.
NEW – Prophet, Trump, and Marx want to become mayor of Nordhausen in Thuringia, Germany.— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) September 10, 2023
Prophet and incumbent Buchmann move on to the run-off. pic.twitter.com/qfkzhVUDyg
In Nordhausen, the AfD candidate Prophet, who says he has experience as a member of the district council as well as the city council, is focusing primarily on local political issues in the election campaign.
As Remix News previously reported, the AfD has reached a new polling high in polls across eastern Germany, putting it in first place in four of the five states. In the German state of Thuringia, the party is polling at 34 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Infratest Dimap polling institute on behalf of MDR.
However, in the west of Germany, the party is also rapidly rising as inflation bites, the economy slows, and immigration surges. The party hit a record high of 19 percent in Baden-Württemberg in July and just this month, also hit a record high in Hesse.