Germany's far-right AfD holds party convention in Dresden | DW News

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Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany party is holding a convention this weekend to decide what their program will be for national elections in September. The AfD's 600 delegates are meeting in person in the city of Dresden, despite high numbers of coronavirus cases in Germany.
Protests are taking place outside the conference. The party's anti-Islam, anti-immigrant stance, as well as its criticism of measures to fight the pandemic, have courted controversy.
The gathering is expected to be the scene of bitter debate between its extreme-right faction and its more conservative right-wing powers.
Germany’s largest opposition party, the Alternative for Germany, looks set to slide further to the right, according to a draft platform due to be decided upon at the party conference.
Germany will hold a federal election later this year, and Jörg Meuthen is planning an aggressive campaign for the AfD, which he co-chairs. The far-right party's platform will include calls for the deportation of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, and for severe restrictions to be imposed on immigration. It will also suggest that Germany should follow the British example, and leave the EU, as well as the eurozone.
The AfD also wants to score points with critics of Germany's coronavirus policy. With their stance against compulsory mask-wearing, supposedly mandatory vaccines, and lockdown measures, the AfD hopes to remain relevant to the tens of thousands of protesters in Germany. On this, the party is unified.
But the AfD's co-leader is under attack from other top party figures – above all, from Thuringia's Björn Höcke. He led the party's extreme-right wing, which was put under intelligence surveillance for its stances. Meuthen had sharply criticized the radical Wing at last year’s party congress, to keep the AfD from veering too far right and potentially losing votes. Under pressure, the party dissolved the wing, but its members remain influential.
The internal struggle could also affect this weekend's party conference. According to media reports, influential functionaries are making moves to remove Meuthen from the party leadership.


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