Fascists align with conservatives to kick out Die Linke in eastern Germany
Demonstrators opposing the overthrow of the Die Linke government in Thuringia by a fascist-conservative alliance carry a banner reading: "Nationalism is not an alternative: United Against Fascism." | via Twitter

Protests were sparked in Germany’s eastern state of Thuringia Wednesday after the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party—which has ties to neo-Nazis—joined forces with two conservative parties in the state parliament to oust incumbent Die Linke (Left Party) President Bodo Ramelow.

State elections were held in October, but the left-wing premier was unable to form a majority, even in a coalition with the Green Party and the center-left Social Democrats.

Despite this, Ramelow had been expected to be elected as president of Thuringia’s parliament. But in a shock result, the leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) Thomas Kemmerich won by just one vote after the AfD swung behind him.

The FDP had only just cleared the 5% threshold to have representation in the regional parliament. The party allied with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), but Kemmerich would not have won without the votes of the AfD.

CDU leader in Thuringia Mike Mohring denied that the move amounted to an informal coalition with the fascist party. The CDU “is not responsible for the voting behavior of other parties,” he said.

But AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland hailed the outcome as a sign that “excluding the AfD is no longer an option.”

Björn Höcke, the leading AfD figure in Thuringia, is known for calling for an end to demonization of the period when Adolf Hitler ruled Germany. He has criticized the erection of the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, calling it a “monument of shame” that denigrates German achievements in the pre-1945 era.

Angry protests were continuing outside Thuringia’s parliament building in Erfurt and spreading across Germany as we went to press.

This article originally appeared in Morning Star. It has been supplemented with additional background material.


Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.