Former afd leader frauke petry attests to her former co-chairman jorg meuthen’s gross dependence on the right-wing nationalist wing around bjorn hocke.
"Meuthen is where he is now, on call – if the flugel drops him, he’s through," the non-factional member of the bundestag told the deutsche presse agency. Meuthen was confirmed as chairman at a party conference in hanover at the beginning of december. He now leads the afd together with alexander gauland. He is not unhappy about petry’s departure.
The afd federal party conference showed overall "that the mabbies in the afd will only get the right to stay if they recognize the power of the hocke-flugel," said petry. She therefore assumes that the new board will not pursue the party exclusion proceedings against hocke before the federal arbitration court.
Petry had left the afd shortly after the federal election. Together with her husband marcus pretzell and other afd-abtrunks she founded the burgerforum "blaue wende". She had left the party because politicians like thuringian faction leader hocke and saxonian members of parliament siegbert droese and jens maier "focus on historical revisionism, and because i see extremist approaches among individuals in the afd". The party has also moved to the left on a number of issues.
When asked how petry’s right-wing disassociation fit in with her participation in the meeting of the eu’s europe of nations and freedom (enf) group in coblenz last january, she said: "we didn’t want hocke and his people to make contacts with politicians like heinz-christian strache of the fpo and marine le pen of the front national in order to then instrumentalize them in the internal party power struggle."This was one reason for the meeting. Petry conceded: "but at the time we may have underestimated the negative reactions that this meeting triggered in the public."
Petry is relaxed about the efforts of the afd to secure the rights to the "blaue partei" and "blaue wende" brands. She said: "by trying to take the color blue away from us, the afd ultimately ensures that the blue party and our citizens’ forum blaue wende become better known.". She and her comrades-in-arms wanted to take legal action against it. Petry said: "the brand name afd is indeed well known. But he has been burned in large parts of the public by the radical revisions of individual party members."She herself wants to score in the future "not with new excitements", but to worry about municipal finances, migration, broadband expansion and tax fairness.
The burgerforum blaue wende has according to petry currently about 3000 members. The blue party will start building state associations in 2018, she said. Whether and when she will be able to found a group in the bundestag remains to be seen. "The opportunities to help shape policy are naturally very limited for non-factional delegates," she admitted. "I have no regrets today that I contributed to the afd being represented in parliament," she added. The debate has thus "gained momentum".