A far-right candidate wins a seat in Berlin from jail after planning an armed attack on the Bundestag

Exactly 868 days after the 2021 German elections, we know their final result. The recount of the vote in Berlin is a serious warning to Olaf Scholz’s government and gives new impetus to the shift to the right. The conservative CDU surged nearly 7% ahead of the 2021 vote and the anti-Europe party Alternative for Germany (AfD) climbed 5.6% to 12.6%, despite mass demonstrations in the German capital in recent weeks against the extreme right. . Vote. In contrast, Chancellor Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) declined by 14.6% and, although this partial repeat of the elections does not bring any change in the parliamentary balance of forces, it very clearly speaks of a change in sign. Which will be the next opportunity to perform in the autumn fields.

At the moment, only four deputies who lost their mandate face direct consequences. The SPD, the Greens and the Left left one seat each for candidates from other federal states: Anna-Maria Tresnaya lost her mandate from the SPD, Nina Stähr from the Greens and Pascal Meiser from the Left, Angela Hohmann from the Lower SPD in favor of Saxony for the left, Franziska Krumwiede-Steiner from North Rhine-Westphalia for the Greens, and Christine Buchholz from Hesse for the left. However the Liberal Party (FDP) loses one seat of Lars Lindemann without replacement, leaving the Bundestag reduced to only 735 members instead of 736. The remaining readings are projected for the next general elections.

The conservative CDU is strengthening itself as an alternative and, apart from the obvious erosion of the “traffic light coalition”, all analysts highlight the rise of the AfD, which until now was more or less banned from the German capital and which was expected to be increasingly Weakness after demonstrations and protests. In a supposedly unique phenomenon, the AfD is consolidating itself as a majority party and the strongest political force in some regions. One piece of information in particular is presented as symptomatic of the development: in the Berlin district of Stieglitz-Zehlendorf, AfD candidate Birgit Malsack Vinkemann, who is currently in prison, has won a seat.

He was arrested in 2022 as a member of the Reich Citizens Movement, which allegedly planned an armed attack on the Bundestag and the overthrow of the democratic government in order to establish a dictatorship led by Emperor Henry XIII. Since the rules for repeat elections indicate that the same candidates must present themselves in 2021, Birgit Malsack Vinkemann escaped from prison and obtained a new mandate.

Armed attack on the Bundestag

With an eye on the upcoming general election, the AfD has almost doubled its voting power over the past five years and, according to a Sunday question from the polling institute Infratest Dimap, 22% of Germans would be willing to give it their vote today. “Almost a quarter of Germans want to vote for a party that actively calls for the expulsion of groups of people, in some cases even citizens with German nationality”, analyzes Daniel Erck in Tagesspiegel. “It’s horrifying and worrying, but also somewhat surprising”. If you look closely, the AfD’s current popularity follows a long tradition. “German history since 1945 is replete with examples of how ethnocentric and racist thinking was tolerated by half of society.” “We like to imagine that in 1949 we pressed a button and suddenly the country became democratic,” says Professor Beat Cooper of the University of Niederrhein, “but that was not the case.”

Franka Maubach, an expert on National Socialism at the Humboldt University of Berlin, also sees “no real turning point” after the defeat in World War II and recalls that “the impact of the Nazi regime on German democracy was also evident from theory at the political level: young Many important positions in the Federal Republic were occupied by former NSDAP party members and Wehrmacht soldiers. This was tolerated at best and actively encouraged at worst.”

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