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Successor of Alexander Gauland: AfD threatens the turbulent party congress


Tino Chrupalla is on his way to his office in the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus. He is in a good mood and determined. "I can also make a good speech," he says and smiles. It's an allusion to a newspaper article that recently questioned his rhetorical ability.

But Saturday afternoon at the convention of the federal AfD party in Braunschweig will be particularly important. For the Saxon Chrupalla, the co-head of the AFD Alexander Gauland chosen as his successor, must compete with another candidate, Bundestag deputy AfD Gottfried Curio, 59 years old.

Both will run for the place, which the 78-year-old Gauland wants to free to become the party's honorary president and concentrate on working as a faction leader. It could be a competition for speakers of acute and demagogic messages.

Curio, who studied music in his curriculum vitae and worked as a physicist in the universities of Berlin, Munich and the United States for many years, spoke with the interior minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), saying that "immigration mass is also immigration of knights ", Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) thought this summer with the observation that he was doing" the tugboat business ".

With these speeches, Curio regularly enjoys his fan community. He has a strong base following, mainly because he broadcasts his speeches via a YouTube channel.

Frontispiece as recognition

Therefore, Chrupalla should not have an easy time against it. Although he, in the cosmos of the AfD loudspeakers, can also perform the lumber with force. She recently attacked the 44-year-old, who was once at the CDU junior boys Union and 2017 beat the current Saxon CDU Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer in his constituency in Görlitz, the Bundestag chancellor, asked her about the past in "Free German youth" of the GDR and indirectly drew from her the image of an author in the SED state. With its appearance in the debate of November 9, 1989, Chrupalla even went to the front page of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" ("AfD causes scandal in the debate on the fall of the Berlin Wall"). In AfD circles this is considered a knight.

For Gauland, the planned withdrawal from party leadership – which he reluctantly took on Jörg Meuthen's side two years ago – was a risk. Quite often, he called his group a "fermented group". Thus he described the constant unrest in his own ranks, which often led to chaotic party congresses. Once again, it could be turbulent in Brunswick.


The AfD politician Tino Chrupalla and Beatrix von Storch


Photo: Michael Kappeler / dpa

The AfD politician Tino Chrupalla and Beatrix von Storch

Chrupalla is not part of the ethnic "wings" network of AfD politicians Björn Höcke and Andreas Kalbitz. But he likes sympathies. Rhetorically, it is quite connected there: the ZDF television recordings show how it speaks in March 2018 in a performance in Oppach, in Saxony, on the Islamization of the west as a "reality", and could also "in effect a certain change "talk.

Chrupalla's rhetoric will come to "Ali" but will it be enough for his election?

Curiosity, and therefore fear, could attract the Braunschweig delegates to his side with a good speech – just as almost the head of state of Afles Schleswig-Holstein Doris zu Sayn-Wittgenstein two years ago would have succeeded. In order to prevent them, Gauland was finally elected party leader. The "false princess", as she is called internally mocking, was expelled from the party in August, among other things, because she was accused of supporting membership in an extreme right-wing club that denies the Holocaust.

So, from the AfD, we hear that Gauland is holding this time for all cases, an application in case the party's congress slips into chaos. Nothing scares Gauland except to dismiss the party founded in 2013 in an unstable future. In many state associations, recently in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, the struggles for the grave and the direction between the so-called moderate and "wing" forces have been pacified for the moment by the election of new presidents of state.

Back on top of the triple?

That the Braunschweiger Party Congress works smoothly but is not expected. Curio stated in his application video that he also competes for a possible third position as speaker at the top. In the early years of the party, there had been such a constellation of three equal spokesmen for the Board of Directors: until the summer of 2015, Bernd Lucke, Frauke Petry and Konrad Adam officiated. Lucke and Petry left the party, Adam largely withdrew from the public. Since July 2015, the AfD has been led by a double summit, in the statutory states, however, that the federal council consists of "two or three national spokesmen".


Will of the party chief: AfD MP Gottfried Curio


HAYOUNG JEON / EPA-EFE / REX

Will of the party chief: AfD MP Gottfried Curio

Unlike Gauland, his co-boss Jörg Meuthen wants to compete again. But even Meuthen is injured, in the summer his own district association in the southwest had not established him as a delegate to the convention of the federal party. Probably Meuthen will have to fight in Braunschweig a counter-candidate, the MP from Rhineland-Palatinate AFD Nicole Höchst. I'm not sure what their possibilities are. Höchst has been attracted by a radical verbosity for a long time, recently comparing Merkel with Hitler ("The schnauzer now wears a diamond"), the share of women calls it "socialism entitled". And with the head of the Lower Saxony country, Dana Guth, perhaps another candidate applies for one of the two best places: it is attributed to the camp of alleged moderates.

Manage donation business

In addition to the staff, there may be a difficult topic in Braunschweig: the business of donations. So far, the AfD has to pay fines of 402,900 euros to the Bundestag. It was the help of the Swiss advertising agency Goal AG for Meuthen and the federal executive Guido Reil in the state election campaigns in 2016 and 2017. In addition, another fine of 34,000 euros is open around at the Kyffhäuser meeting of the right wing Höcke. The leader of the Gaul co-operation in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel – is a candidate for the first deputy in the Bundesspitze – is still in sight with the unclear donation scandal in their Lake Constance district association.

For some at the base the business of donations are therefore all other than finished. Several delegates presented a motion that would be radical in its implications, if the issue was actually dealt with at the congress. In it, the initiators, who "intentionally because of financial practices, the party that imposes fines or withhold government funds" must "be personally responsible". Whether the application is considered, it is considered doubtful.

Another change, which is included in the application and is also supported by the Federal AfD treasurer Klaus Fohrmann, should have more opportunities – it includes provisions on sanctions and wants national associations to be "illegal conduct" in "internal relations" – that is to say say from their respective Members – they are responsible to the Federal Party.