Far-right EU lawmakers kick out Germany’s AfD party ahead of election

A far-right group in the European Union Parliament announced on Thursday that it had dropped the Alternative for Germany party from its coalition, dealing a heavy blow to a key coalition just two weeks before the election EU parliament.

In a statement on its official X accountThe Identity and Democracy group wrote that it had decided to exclude the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, because of comments by Maximilian Krah, the AfD’s leading candidate in the upcoming election.

In an interview last week, Mr. Krah appeared to minimize the crimes committed by the SS, the Nazi paramilitary force that killed millions during the Holocaust. “One million soldiers wore SS uniforms,” Mr. Krah told La Repubblica et Financial Times in a joint interview. “Can you really say that because someone is an officer of the Waffen-SS that they are a criminal? You have to identify individual guilt.”

In its statement, Identity and Democracy wrote that it “no longer wants to be involved in cases related to Maximilian Krah, who heads the AfD list for the European elections.”

The AfD’s exclusion from the group, which includes the League party in Italy and the National Rally party in France, is a sign that AfD’s domestic troubles are starting to spill over into European Union politics.

Identity and Democracy’s move to oust the AfD before the election suggests that other far-right parties in Europe fear the German delegation has become a burden. There are 27 member states that make up the European Union. About 400 million voters is eligible to elect 705 deputies to the European Parliament. Far-right parties are expected to win a record number of votes.

Jordan Bardella, head of National Rally, responded promptly to Mr. Krah’s comments TF1 of France that the AfD had “crossed the red line” and vowed that his party would “no longer stand with the AfD.”

Mr. Krah’s has been at the center of several recent scandals in Germany. After the party held an emergency meeting this week, Mr. Krah said he would leave the AfD leadership. He will also stop campaigning.

“This represents a significant loss of power,” Hajo Funke, an analyst focusing on right-wing extremism in Germany, said of the AfD’s ouster. “Without the group, the AfD would be even more isolated than it is now.”

Mr. Krah’s interview is the latest of many blows to the AfD. In January, hundreds of thousands of Germans took to the streets after an investigation revealed a secret meeting between AfD leaders and far-right extremists in which they discussed organizing deportations series.

Last month, an assistant to Mr. Krah was arrested on suspicion of spying for the Chinese government. While Mr. Krah has not been charged, authorities have searched his office, leading to speculation that he may also be under investigation.

This month, The police searched the offices by Petr Bystron, the second AfD member in the EU vote. Mr. Bystron is being investigated for receiving money from Russia. Like Mr. Krah, Mr. Bystron was dropped from the campaign.

Both men are expected to win seats in the European Parliament next month, but their power will be much diminished unless they can assemble their own coalition.


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