AfD taps Björn Höcke to run for Thuringia state premier
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the eastern state of Thuringia announced Monday that leader Björn Höcke would compete in the race for state premier in a vote on March 4.
Höcke, a highly divisive and controversial figure within the AfD, will run against the incumbent, Bodo Ramelow of the socialist Left party.
Wednesday’s vote comes after an election in Thuringia last month caused an uproar across Germany. In that poll, Thomas Kemmerich of the business-friendly Free Democrats was elected premier with votes from the AfD and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). The AfD also withdrew its own candidate at the last minute.
Read more: Why is everyone in Germany talking about Thuringia and AfD?
It was the first time a state premier had been elected with support from the far right, and saw mainstream parties break their pact not to work with AfD lawmakers.
Kemmerich resigned the next day and said he would call another election, after Chancellor Angela Merkel called the vote inexcusable.
nm/stb (AFP, dpa)