by Thorsten Koch
Following the decision of the federal executive board of the AfD, the party membership of the Brandenburg state chairman Andreas Kalbitz has been canceled. The reason for this is Kalbitz’ memberships in other organizations. Kalbitz was a member of the ‘Die Republikaner’ party and had taken part in an event organized by the HDJ, which the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has classified as an entity of the extreme right. The HDJ has been banned.
While five members of the AfD board did not vote against Kalbitz, seven did so, with one abstention. Kalbitz was not an effective party member, and his “membership expired,” said an AfD spokesman. Background: HDJ figures on the AfD’s so-called incompatibility list.
AfD deputy chair Alice Weidel had suggested that an additional legal assessment be obtained before a possible party expulsion, however the decision to exclude Kalbitz was taken this Friday. Kalbitz announced to possibly take legal action. He was himself a member of the AfD federal executive board. He was also chairman of the party’s regional unit in Brandenburg, and parliamentary chairman within the Brandenburg state parliament. In addition to Björn Höcke, the Thuringian AfD state chairman, Kalbitz is one of the most well-known among the right-wing nationalist grouping within the AfD, which used to be labeled The Wing (Der Flügel). After the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution announced that it was watching the grouping, the latter disbanded.
The entire AfD state association in Brandenburg could now, despite the exclusion of Kalbitz from the AfD party, be put under observation due to its “Verflügelung”, i.e. the structual links with The Wing, according to media reports.