The Vice President of the German Bundestag, Thomas Oppermann (SPD), is unsurprised by the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court on the AfD. “The Federal Constitutional Court once again confirmed long-standing case law,” said Oppermann. “However, this does not change anything when it comes to dealing with the AfD” politically. The court did not contest the statements critical of the AfD made by Federal Ministry of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) as such, but only their publication on the website of his ministry, Oppermann said. “Like all other responsible politicians, Mr. Seehofer is free to denounce the AfD’s positions in cases where they violate decisions of the Basic Law or violate the rules of our parliamentary democracy.” Oppermann added: “We will continue to handle it this way.”
Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) had given an interview, the content of which was temporarily placed on the website of his ministry and in which he attacked the AfD’s strategy as “state-destroying”. According to the Federal Constitutional Court, the publication by the Ministry violated the federal government’s neutrality obligation to grant all political parties equal rights in political competition.
According to the President of the Constitutional Court, Andreas Voßkuhle, the admissibility of the Federal Government’s public relations work ends “where advertising for or influencing individual parties or persons engaged in political competition begins”. The reduction must be refrained from unless it is linked to legitimate governmental action. As a private individual, however, a government member can continue to express his or her political opinion, the judge added. Resorting to state resources in cases where the government’s mandate is not met, is not covered, according to Voßkuhle.