While the left is well known for calling for a ban on the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), often described as a conservative party, also has a variety of politicians calling for the party to be banned. This time, CDU MP Marco Wanderwitz, who was personally defeated by an AfD candidate, plans to introduce a motion in the Bundestag to ban the party.
Wanderwitz made the call to ban the party during the state-run ARD television program “Panorama,” saying, “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.”
Wanderwitz says he is searching out other MPs to back his vote; however, the ultimate authority on whether such a ban is possible is the German Constitutional Court. Not only are the legal hurdles for such a ban very high, but the political implications of banning the AfD would be enormous.
The AfD is the second most popular party in the country, and currently sits at 21 percent in Politico’s poll of polls, only behind the CDU. However, some polls have placed it as high as 23 percent, indicating that nearly one out of four German voters in the country could back the party. Approximately 30 percent of German voters say they could imagine voting for the party.
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In the event of a ban, the AfD could still appeal the process at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Wanderwitz is particularly irked by the fact that the AfD has any money at all, saying during his ARD interview that if there was a ban, then “all these people who can now be right-wing extremists, paid with tax money, 24 hours a day would have to look for another job the next day.”
Notably, Wanderwitz lost his constituency to AfD deputy Mike Moncsek. The only reason Wandertwitz has a job in politics still is due to the party system in Germany, with the CDU placing him on their list of candidates, which helped him gain re-entry into the Bundestag.
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Besides Wanderwitz’s own personal fortunes, the CDU party also sees the AfD as its main democratic competitor to its right, giving the party ample motive to want to see a ban.
Wanderwitz said he fears the AfD’s growing strength: “The radical right-wing movement was very fragmented for many years. But the unifying, warming campfire of the AfD is now so dominant that almost everything that exists in this political spectrum is tied together.”
Wanderwitz, however, may not represent the current mainstream opinion within his party. So far, the head of the CDU, Friedrich Merz, does not back a ban of the AfD.
“Party bans have never led to solving a political problem,” he said in a ZDF summer interview earlier this year. Nevertheless, he has vowed to never work with the party.