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In Germany, the far-right scores another success by winning its first mayoralty

A week after achieving its first district victory, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party took a new step in its electoral advance on Sunday night by winning its first elected mayor at the polls. Hannes Loth will govern Raguhn-Jessnitz, a municipality of about 9,000 inhabitants in Saxony-Anhalt (former East Germany).

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The extreme right has scored another symbolic success in Germany. On Sunday 2 July, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party came out on top for the first time in a full-time mayoral municipal election, a week after winning its first district.

Hannes Loth, a 42-year-old farmer, was chosen to govern Raguhn-Jessnitz, a town of about 9,000 inhabitants in eastern Saxony-Anhalt.

The also deputy of the regional Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt prevailed with 51.13% of the votes in a second round compared to 48.9% of his opponent, the independent Nils Naumann, according to data published on the municipality’s Facebook page.

Just a week ago, the AfD party won the presidency of a local district in Germany, made up of several municipalities, the equivalent of a French canton: that of Sonneberg, in the Thuringia region, also in the east of the country.

“After the first canton, we now have the first full-time AfD mayor,” Christian Blex, a party official, said on social media.

A small number of German towns have already had AfD mayors in the past, but on a voluntary or part-time basis, as these elected representatives had other jobs at the same time.

Similarly, Burladingen, a municipality in the south-west of the country with a population of 12,000, was governed between 2018 and 2020 by an AfD politician, but he had not been elected under the party colors, but instead joined it. during his tenure.

The AfD strengthens in opinion polls

The election takes place in a context of strong growth in the opinion polls of this movement founded ten years ago and known for its anti-immigration, eurosceptic and pro-Russian positions.

According to a poll by the Insa institute published this Sunday in the Sunday edition of the Bild newspaper, the AfD registers a 20% vote intention and is head to head with the Social Democratic party of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (19%) at the national level, and behind only the conservatives.

In the last general election in 2021, the far-right party had around half of those votes, with 10.3%, but has since become especially strong in the east of the country, which feels abandoned.

The far-right German party AfD met at a congress in Dresden on April 10-11, 2021 to prepare for the post-Angela Merkel era.
The far-right German party AfD met at a congress in Dresden on April 10-11, 2021 to prepare for the post-Angela Merkel era. AFP – JENS SCHLUETER

For several months now, the party has been riding the wave of discontent among public opinion, fueled by inflation and the ecological transition that the government is trying to implement under the impetus of Los Verdes, a member of the ruling coalition.

The president of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, which is responsible for teaching programs in Germany, warned over the weekend against minimizing the rise of the AfD “to a simple protest movement.”

“The voters want this party, and that is where the situation is serious,” Thomas Krüger told the regional RND press group.

“Certain positions have become entrenched in a part of society, which cannot be reconciled with democratic principles and which are unacceptable,” he warned.

with AFP

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Written by Editor TLN

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