The new AfD party leaders are to be elected at a federal party conference in Riesa in mid-June. Is the Thuringian head of state Höcke also a candidate?

The Thuringian AfD head of state, Björn Höcke, wants to reduce the number of possible chairmen of the federal party.

This emerges from a preliminary version of the application book for the three-day federal party conference of the AfD, which begins on June 17 in Riesa, Saxony.

In the motion for the statute formulated by Höcke and four other delegates, which was first reported by the editorial network Germany, it says literally that the federal executive board should in future consist of “one or two federal spokespersons”. In the currently valid version of the statute, there are two or three federal spokespersons.

In the AfD, the party leaders are called “federal spokespersons”. After a three-man leadership in the early phase, the party has had two co-chairs in recent years. Since long-time chairman Jörg Meuthen left the party in January, Tino Chrupalla has been the sole leader of the AfD. Together with Alice Weidel, he heads the parliamentary group.

Meuthen had justified his exit with what he saw as an increasingly radical course of the AfD. He said: “I see very clearly totalitarian overtones there”. The President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, stated in May that the party’s internal power struggle between moderates and extremists had not yet been decided – “if Höcke were to be elected, however, that would be a clear indication that the party was developing further in the direction of right-wing extremism.”

Höcke does not rule out candidacy

Höcke, who also heads the AfD parliamentary group in the Thuringian state parliament, does not rule out an application for the federal executive board. But he hasn’t decided on that yet.

In a motion for the party congress supported by Höcke, Chrupalla and honorary chairman Alexander Gauland, among others, the establishment of a commission to prepare a “party structural reform” is called for. The proposals contained therein would probably place narrower limits than before on the creative freedom of the party leadership to be newly elected. The text says, among other things: “In the event that the federal executive board or members of the federal executive board refuse to implement convention or party congress resolutions, the examination and use of sanctions should be possible.”