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  Germany's AfD thrown into turmoil by former neo-Nazi's expulsion
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  May 18, 2020 12:29pm
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AuthorPhilip Oltermann
News DateMonday, May 18, 2020 04:10:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionWith support for Angela Merkel’s governing coalition surging during the coronavirus pandemic, Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland, the largest opposition party in the Bundestag, has opted for a vicious bout of public infighting that could split the party in two.

The national board of the anti-immigration AfD narrowly voted last Friday to strip party membership from Andreas Kalbitz, a key networker on the rabidly nationalist fringes of the party’s eastern German branches.

Kalbitz, a 47-year-old former professional soldier who heads the AfD in Brandenburg, was ousted over allegedly declining to inform the party of his former membership of a banned neo-Nazi group, German Youths Loyal to the Fatherland, when applying to join the party in 2013. He was last year also revealed to have been named by the German embassy in Athens as one of 14 neo-Nazis who travelled to the Greek capital in 2007 for a far-right rally.

The AfD has struggled to formulate a coherent stance on the coronavirus and failed to leverage a grassroots anti-lockdown movement, and the expulsion of Kalbitz has caused a split through the party’s leadership and set eastern against western delegates.
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