Afd chairman jorg meuthen will not seek candidacy for federal election. In a letter to party members, meuthen justified his decision by saying that he could fulfill an important task for the afd as a member of the european parliament.
"Berlin, like other national capitals, is increasingly threatening to become a kind of branch office and command center for brussel," he wrote in the circular letter obtained by the deutsche presse-agentur. "Someone has to counter commission president ursula von der leyen. That’s where I see my task," he said in berlin on wednesday.
There had recently been speculation in the party about whether meuthen might try to challenge alice weidel, who currently leads the parliamentary group together with alexander gauland, for the top candidacy in baden-wurttemberg. The party chairman did not want to look into the cards for a long time and announced a decision on a possible candidacy for the bundestag for the fall. Weidel was elected as the new state leader of the afd in baden-wurttemberg last february. However, it cannot be ruled out that the constant quarrels in the bundestag faction also contributed to meuthen preferring to remain a member of the european parliament and concentrate on the party chairmanship.
Nothing similar is known from the group of afd european deputies. It is not yet clear whether weidel and gauland, who will be 80 years old by the time of the federal election next fall, will run again as a duo for the leadership of the faction after the election. Gauland had recently stated several times that he had not yet decided whether to run for the bundestag again. "Who will be our top candidate for the federal election, that is still completely open today," said meuthen.
Co-party leader tino chrupalla, weidel and gauland had sharply criticized meuthen’s conduct in the kalbitz affair – since then, the relationship between the two and the party leader has been considered damaged. Last may, meuthen had the party board vote on the cancellation of the membership of former brandenburg afd leader andreas kalbitz. A majority decided then for the rauswurf. The annulment, which is linked to right-wing extremist references in kalbitz’s past, has now been confirmed by the party’s arbitration court. Kalbitz, who denies former membership in the now banned heimattreuen deutsche jugend, wants to take legal action against it. When asked what his cooperation with chrupalla would look like after the dispute over kalbitz, meuthen replied: "the relationship is such that it works."
He had already drafted this letter last weekend, meuthen wrote. "Like the decision itself, it has no connection whatsoever with day-to-day political events in the area of the federal parliamentary group."He knows that the afd already has "a lot of smart people" at work in berlin, and he is convinced that this will remain the case after the next federal election. In his first years as afd leader, meuthen had a good connection to leading representatives of the right-wing wing of the party. That has changed in the meantime.