AfD fails to win mayoral runoff 

AfD fails to win mayoral runoff 

Germany’s populist AfD has lost a key mayoral race in Görlitz (pictured), where all other parties stepped aside for a Romanian-born classical musician, the CDU’s candidate Octavian Ursu, who won over 55 per cent of the vote. 

The remaining votes went to the AfD candidate, Sebastian Wippel.

Wippel won the first round of the contest in May, igniting hopes that the AfD could win its first mayoral contest.

Ursu said the majority of voters “decided in favour of an open society and against isolation.”

The 51-year-old added: “Now we have to see about getting closer to the those who didn’t vote for me.”

Former police superintendent Wippel said his vote share of 45 per cent was “great … considering that all other parties mobilised their forces against us”. 

The Greens’ joint leader, Annalena Baerbock, tweeted that Usru’s win showed “how important it is for democrats to stand together in decisive moments despite all of their differences”. 

Turnout was 56 per cent.

In the first round of voting on May 26, Wippel came top with 36 per cent, while Ursu had 30 per cent. 

In September, there are state elections in Saxony, where Görlitz is located, and Brandenburg, with the AfD currently leading polls. 

Voting in another eastern state, Thuringia, is due on October 27.

The AfD performed well in the region in May’s European Parliament election, emerging as the strongest party in former East Germany. 

The AfD has representation in every state legislature.


German police say they have arrested a man in connection with this month’s shooting of CDU politician Walter Lübcke, with the media reporting the suspect has links to the far-right. 

Lübcke, 65, president of the Kassel district, around 160km northeast of Frankfurt, was shot in the head at close range on June 2. Lübcke, the head of the city administration in Kassel, received death threats from the far-right after he supported his party leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel in her 2015 decision to allow more than 1 million migrants to enter Germany.  

He became a hate figure for far-right after he told a community meeting in 2015 that opponents of the government’s refugee policies were free to leave Germany.  

A video of his comments was spread online and Lübcke briefly required police protection after receiving death threats.

A 45-year-old man was arrested at the weekend based on DNA evidence, police said. Another man was arrested but later released without charge.

Investigators say it is unclear why Lübcke was killed, but a possible political motive has not been ruled out. 

Since his death, hundreds of posts from social media accounts connected to right-wing extremists celebrated his murder.



Picture credit: Wikimedia 





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