As of: 01/28/2022 9:26 p.m
The reactions within the AfD to the resignation of the previous party leader Meuthen are very different: while the federal executive expresses its regret, others criticize Meuthen’s accusations of a shift to the right.
For Jörg Meuthen, who has now left the AfD, they are responsible for a radical course of the Alternative for Germany: Alice Weidel and Timo Chrupalla. The latter reacted relatively calmly to the allegations: “I think the last few days and weeks have also shown that Jörg Meuthen has moved a bit far from the party and that the party is no longer fully behind him. I think that’s a lot It’s a shame, because the program hasn’t changed,” said Chrupalla.
Weidel suspects behind the exit calculation
The AfD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel, reacted less composed. She accused Meuthen of lack of character in the “Stuttgarter Zeitung”. She suspected that his departure from the party was an excuse and had something to do with the pending lifting of his immunity in the European Parliament.
At the beginning of 2019 it became known that Meuthen had received support worth 90,000 euros from the Swiss advertising agency Goal AG during his 2016 election campaign. He later admitted the payments himself. Party donations of more than 1000 euros from non-EU countries are prohibited in Germany.
AfD faction leader Weidel accuses Meuthen of lack of character.
Höcke reacts cautiously
The Thuringian AfD boss Björn Höcke, whom Meuthen also blames for the party’s shift to the right, reacted cautiously to the exit. He wrote on Twitter that he respected Meuthen’s decision.
Brandner calls Meuthen’s allegations “legal nonsense”
The deputy AfD federal spokesman Stefan Brandner is one of those who, according to Meuthen, helped fuel the legal course. Brandner rejected this. “What else should he say,” said Brandner. “That’s the classic thing, we’ve seen it dozens of times, that people who have made a career in the AfD suddenly can’t get any further and realize that there’s some kind of resistance – and then there’s always this right-wing fuss. ” That shouldn’t be taken seriously, said Brandner. Meuthen did a very good job in the first four years, but later tore down what he had built up there.
Brandner was close to the officially dissolved wing of the AfD, which Meuthen had worked towards dissolving. So Meuthen wanted to avert an observation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
Steinbach joins the AfD in response
In response to Meuthen’s departure, the former CDU member of the Bundestag and current chairwoman of the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation, which is close to the AfD, Erika Steinbach said on Twitter that she wanted to become a member of the AfD. She had no intention of joining a party again. However, the indisputable handling of the media and politics as well as Meuthen’s unfair exit had persuaded her to rethink.
She said about Meuthen that he was in a row with AfD co-founder Bernd Lucke and former chairman Frauke Petri, both of whom had left the party. Like Meuthen, no one would mourn for them.
Federal board of the AfD regrets Meuthen’s departure
Joana Cotar, who was supported by Meuthen in her ultimately unsuccessful top candidacy for the AfD, was disappointed but composed. “I personally regret that very much,” she said. “It’s his personal decision that we have to respect. He has to know whether the decision was a good one.”
The federal executive of the AfD stated that it regretted the exit from the party and thanked Meuthen for the “further development of the AfD as the only opposition party in Germany”.
With material by Isabel Reifenrath, ARD Capital Studio Berlin
AfD reactions after Jörg Meuthen left the party
Isabel Reifenrath, ARD Berlin, January 28, 2022 8:20 p.m