Opponents of Meuthen are campaigning within the AfD party

by Thorsten Koch

The federal chairman of the AfD party, Jörg Meuthen, is faced with an internal conflict with the right-leaning, nationalist wing after the exclusion from the party of the Brandenburg AfD head Andreas Kalbitz. Despite very different positions, Meuthen says he does not expect the party to split.

Jürgen Pohl from the AfD parliamentary group published a photo montage, which was entitled “We are splitters” and shows the members of the federal executive board. The Thuringian AfD country and faction leader Björn Höcke, in a video, warned of a “split and the destruction” of the party in the wake of the party exclusion of Kalbitz. Höcke said that whoever takes the arguments of the party’s opponents, “betrays the party” and wants the AfD to be no viable alternative to the established parties. Frank Pasemann, also a member of the AfD parliamentary group, wrote: “Meuthen & Co. undermine the rule of law” and referred directly to the exclusion of Kalbitz.

Kalbitz’s exclusion was also criticized by the two AfD federal board members Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, as “highly judically questionable”. Gauland said: “I think the result is wrong and dangerous for the party.” Kalbitz had announced that he would contest against his exclusion on Friday by “all legal means”.

Meuthen wants to fend the AfD

Meuthen said that pressure had arisen within the party to decide on the Kalbitz question. “We are a bourgeois-liberal-conservative party. We have to be united, but we have to have a clear demarcation from right-wing extremist positions,” said Meuthen.

Kalbitz had reportedly embezzled, in his membership declaration, his belonging in organizations that the party considered incompatible. Kalbitz had been in the party The Republicans and also had connections to the German Youth Loyal to the Homeland (HDJ), which has been classified as neo-Nazi. The AfD federal executive then voted with seven to five in favor of excluding Kalbitz, member of the party’s right-wing nationalists. Kalbitz called the decision against him a “politically wrongful decision”.

Commentators said Kalbitz’ expulsion would lead to East-West conflicts in the party, although Meuthen had prevailed, for the time being. The AfD chairman wants to prevent the AfD as a whole from being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Meuthen stressed in various interviews that he had a lot of support. It is hardly conceivable that the AfD in Brandenburg should now have a “non-party leader” with Kalbitz. However, this was a decision to be taken by the parliamentary fraction in Brandenburg, he added.

Meanwhile, the document with Kalbitz’s statements regarding his political past has disappeared. This was reported by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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