Germany, a country that prides itself on its democracy, is threatening to ban one of the country's biggest parties. Members of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Left party (Die Linke) are attempting to ban the country's conservative, Alternative for Germany (AfD) party despite its growing popularity in recent polls.
A member of the Thuringian state parliament and SPD member, Dorothea Marx, has been calling to have AfD banned saying, "AfD's hatred and agitation must no longer be equated with democratic freedom and expression." Marx has been pushing for the ban saying that "the time is ripe" given that the AfD party has been under monitoring and surveillance by several state branches of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
Part of the goal of the ban is to cut AfD off from receiving state funding.
The move from the Left in Germany is painfully similar to what the Left has been trying to achieve in the U.S.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution which is a German domestic intelligence agency considers the AfD a "suspected threat" and has been monitoring the party and its members without a warrant. The office has access to the party's emails and phone calls and their surveillance has made it difficult for AfD to operate normally. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is also able to monitor party members without any further cause than simply because the individual is a member.
The move by Germany's Left leadership to ban the party has been expected by the AdF. The movement for the ban has garnered support from Katharina König-Preuss, a Thuringia politician with ties to Antifa who said, "A ban can also help to disarm AfD members more quickly. We know of demonstrably around 50 AfD actors armed with live firearms in the state."
The AfD has seen a recent surge in polls rising to 16% which has driven the SPD and Die Link parties to ramp up efforts to ban the party. The looming energy crisis and soaring inflation are also motivators as AfD has encouraged Germany to repair the Nord Stream II pipeline to gain access to affordable Russian oil again as winter creeps closer and the crisis worsens.
The Left leadership has accused the AdF of trying to bring an end to democracy in Germany, however, many in the AdF party have denounced the accusations and pointed to the fact that no one in the party has ever supported anti-democratic doctrines.
Despite the increased calls to have the conservative AfD banned by the Left parties, the Federal Constitutional Court is the only establishment that can actually ban the AfD. Historically, the only two parties to have ever been banned are the Socialist Reich Party in 1952 and the Communist Party of Germany in 1956.
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