Why party leader Jörg Meuthen is leaving the AfD

EThe party leader not only gives up his post, he also leaves the party at the same time – that doesn’t happen every day in politics. But the fact that Jörg Meuthen is now turning his back on the AfD does not come as a complete surprise. Because last year, defeat followed defeat for the 60-year-old AfD chairman.

The youngest was only a few days ago. The AfD federal executive nominated the far-right, wandering CDU man Max Otte, a member of the so-called Union of Values, as the party’s candidate for the election of the Federal President on February 13. Meuthen had opposed it, but he was defeated on the board. He thinks the decision, with which the AfD wants to play a trick on the CDU, “is wrong in terms of content and strategically unwise,” Meuten said. Otte is by no means in the middle of the AfD.

Over the past year, Meuthen, who sits in the European Parliament, had to admit that support for him in the AfD was dwindling more and more. In a letter to party members in October, he announced that he would not run again for the presidency at the next party congress. In the previous two years, Meuthen had made a name for himself as the most determined advocate of a more moderate course for the AfD and campaigned against the more radical forces in the party. He also justified this by saying that the AfD would otherwise be observed overall by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Influential opponents

At first, Meuthen was successful. In the spring of 2020, he succeeded in getting the right-wing extremist “wing” dissolved on the federal executive board. A little later, with the help of a number of assessors, he was able to form a majority in the executive committee that supported the exclusion of the right-wing extremist and Brandenburg AfD boss Andreas Kalbitz from the AfD. Kalbitz was the organizational head of the “wing”, whose nominal leader is the Thuringian AfD boss Björn Höcke. However, Meuthen brought the most important federal politicians of the AfD against him: the co-party leader Tino Chrupalla from Saxony, the parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag Alice Weidel and also the then co-group leader Alexander Gauland.


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