Author : JANOSCH DELCKER
Posted : 8/4/2017
When the AfD meets in Cologne in two weeks, its co-leader Frauke Petry will push for a sentence to be included in the party’s manifesto stating that “there is no space for racist, anti-semitic … and nationalist ideologies” in the AfD, newspaper Freie Presse reported Saturday, quoting a motion signed by Petry.
Founded in 2013, the AfD holds seats in 11 of Germany’s 16 regional parliaments and hopes to enter the Bundestag in Berlin in the upcoming September election.
In recent polls, however, the party’s approval rating has fallen to single digits, from up to 13 percent just a couple of months ago, and some AfD officials have openly questioned Petry’s ability to lead the party.
Last week, she made headlines when she hinted in an interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper that she might consider withdrawing from politics.
Petry’s distinction between this pragmatic approach and a second, more radical tendency in the party drew harsh criticism from within its ranks.
AfD co-leader Jörg Meuthen shot back at Petry in Frankfurter Allgemeine on Friday, saying her initiative was doomed to fail, and that the AfD had to “close the ranks, not split them. Whoever doesn’t understand and accept that can neither lead the party nor the electoral campaign.”
At its party convention in late April in Cologne, the AfD is set to decide on its campaign strategy and on whether to nominate Petry as their only candidate or to run with a team of candidates.