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The Alternative for Germany party loses the Nordhausen mayoral race – DW – 09/24/2023

The Alternative for Germany party loses the Nordhausen mayoral race – DW – 09/24/2023

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party failed to unseat the incumbent mayor in a runoff election in the central industrial city of Nordhausen.

AfD candidate Jörg Nabe won 45.1% of the vote in Sunday’s local polls, while independent candidate Kai Buchmann received 54.9%.

Al-Nabi admitted defeat in a press statement in which he referred to himself in the third person: “We have a new mayor. Mr. Al-Nabi has become number two in this election.”

Buchman said he was “very pleased” with the outcome and that he would use the next six years in office to try to “achieve the best results for the city.”

The prophet was the obvious favorite Before the polls. The 61-year-old businessman won more than 42% of the vote in the first round two weeks ago Buchmann received only 23.7%.

Buchmann, an independent previously associated with the Green Party, had hoped to garner support from key voters who view the AfD as the Green Party. Right-wing extremists. Germany’s established parties have united to keep the AfD out of power in the past, but the taboo against cooperating with them appears to be fading as the AfD’s popularity rises.

Prophet (left) decisively won the first stage of the race over Buchmann (right)Photo: Martin Schott/Ronnie Hartmann/AFP/DPA/Image Alliance

Recent opinion polls indicate that the Alternative for Germany party has about 21.5% of support nationwide. But in the eastern state of Thuringia, where Nordhausen is located, the party received 32% of the vote.

It was the populist party Mired in many controversies Because of their anti-immigrant stance, with mainstream politicians warning of the similarities between the AfD’s ideology and the Nazis. Recently, a court in Thuringia decided to appoint the regional leader of the AfD Bjorn Hockey will face trial For allegedly using a banned Nazi slogan in a speech.

The far-right populist party achieved two victories in local elections in eastern Germany during the past few months.

In June, the Alternative for Germany party assumed the position of governing the region for the first time, after its member Robert Sisselman won election to the District Council (Thuringian region of Sonneberg).

In July, the party won its first mayor’s post in the small town of Ragon-Gesnitz in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Alternative for Germany candidate and Germany’s past

Nordhausen, with a population of about 42,000, is located near the former concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora, which is part of Germany. Greater Buchenwald Complex. At Mittelbau-Dora, forced labor was used to build V-2 rockets, resulting in the death of one in three workers.

The Prophet raised eyebrows with his statements about Germany’s past, suggesting that the Allied forces that liberated Camp Mittelbau-Dora were only interested in information about rockets and shells.

He also urged an end to the “cult of guilt” in Germany that describes German attitudes towards the Holocaust.

Reacting to the result, the administration of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial said voters had chosen to live in a cosmopolitan and diverse city that recognizes its historical responsibility.

“However, the numerous votes of the AfD candidate, who openly distorts history, show that the culture of enlightened remembrance that constitutes the basic consensus of our democracy is seriously at risk,” said the foundation’s director, Jens Christian Wagner.


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