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The far-right Alternative for Germany party wins the first municipal elections in the city - DW - 12/17/2023

The far-right Alternative for Germany party wins the first municipal elections in the city – DW – 12/17/2023

Filter from Germany Far right Alternative for Germany (AFD) The party won the city’s mayoral election for the first time on Sunday.

Tim Lochner was elected after winning the second round of voting in the city of Pirna, located in the eastern state of the country Saxony where The Alternative for Germany party was remarkably strong.

Preliminary results showed Lochner receiving 38.5% of the vote, the city reported on its website.

Triple fight

The far-right candidate beat Katharine Dollinger Knuth (CDU), who came in second place with 31.4% of the vote, and Ralph Thiele, of the small Free Voters party, who received 30.1%.

Lochner (53 years old) is an independent, but decided to stand under the banner of the far-right Alternative for Germany party to vote.

In the first round, Lochner received a third of the votes, but he was able to increase his share in the second round. The local Greens and Social Democrats withdrew after the first round and threw their support behind Dollinger Knuth of the CDU.

Tim Lochner became the first mayor of a German city from the AfD partyPhoto: Sebastian Kahnert/DPA/Image Alliance

Pirna is located 30 kilometers (18.6 mi) southeast of Dresden on the edge of the Elbe Sand Mountains, and has a population of about 40,000. The city is famous above all for its almost perfectly preserved Old Town.

Extremist organization

Sunday’s result comes just days after the announcement by the domestic intelligence agency in the eastern state of Saxony The Alternative for Germany party is considered an extreme right-wing party.

Berna is the first time that the Alternative for Germany party has won the position of mayor of a city. In August, Hannes Loth was elected as the first mayor of a municipality – Raguhn-Gesnitz in the state of Saxony-Anhalt – but this district had only 9,000 inhabitants.

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In June, the party won its first provincial council elections Candidate Robert Siesselmann in the Sonneberg region of Thuringia.

The far-right party has It was on the rise in Germany Polls show that about one in five voters say they would vote for the AfD, making it the second most popular party after the CDU.

In the eastern German states, the percentage of voters willing to vote for the AfD is more than 30% – more than all other parties – and three of those states are scheduled to hold elections next year: Thuringia, Saxony, and Brandenburg.

Earlier this month, Friedrich Merz, leader of the Christian Democrats, Germany’s main opposition party, walked back his comments suggesting his party was open to working with the AfD at the municipal level.

Germany: The leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is backing down from working with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party

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gsi/ab (AFP, dpa, epd)

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