AfD loses second MP

AfD loses second MP

A second AfD parliamentarian has resigned, 10 days after the anti-immigration movement emerged from elections as Germany’s third-largest political party. 

Mario Mieruch, 42, a founding member of the Alternative for Germany, said he was following former co-leader Frauke Petry, (pictured) who resigned last week.

They will sit as independents in the Bundestag, leaving the anti-immigrant AfD with 92 parliamentarians.

“Keep going like this,” tweeted left-wing Die Linke MP Niema Movassat.

Mieruch told Bild that the AfD had not sufficiently distanced itself from remarks of member Bjoern Hoecke, who had called Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame”.

Mieruch is an ally of Petry’s husband Marcus Pretzell, who led provincial AfD MPs in North Rhine-Westphalia state before also leaving the party last week.

The AfD won 13 per cent support in the September 24 election. The next day Petry walked out of a press conference over the party’s growing radicalisation and bitter infighting and then resigned.

She accused her former colleagues of turning the AfD into an extremist “protest party”.

Petry has been charged with perjury over a campaign finance statement and is accused of lying under oath about the party’s finances.

The charges relate to the AfD campaign for regional elections in her home state of Saxony in 2014.

Petry, 42, is accused of lying under oath to an electoral commission which was investigating allegations of financing irregularities.

If found guilty she would face a minimum jail sentence of six months and the probable end of her political career.

A senior public prosecutor said the court needed to apply to lift Petry’s parliamentary immunity.

Lorenz Haase, a prosecutor in Dresden, said the case was unlikely to proceed quickly.

Petry denied the allegations, saying she had made an innocent mistake and has said she would welcome the chance to clear her name in court.

There are claims the AfD pressured candidates to make loans to the party by threatening to deselect them.

Petry said she may have spoken in error to the commission.

“The charges accuse me of deliberate falsehood,” Petry said. “The truth is that I misremembered. I would gladly have corrected my mistake if I had been given the chance.”

She accused the electoral commission of “using my error against me politically”.

Frauke Petry. Picture credit: Flickr  

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.