Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative fur Deutschland, AfD) has filed complaints against Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government with the Federal Constitutional Court for their role in the Thuringian state government crisis, asking the court to determine whether they had done something illegal.
AfD’s complaints are related to comments made by Chancellor Merkel in February during a trip abroad, during which she said that the election results in Thuringia’s October 2019 regional elections should be reviewed, because Free Democratic Party candidate Thomas Kemmerich was elected with AfD support.
Merkel’s remarks caused a political scandal and, ultimately, Kemmerich’s resignation, with new elections scheduled for April 2021. Until then, Die Linke (The Left) party politician Bodo Ramelow has been asked to serve as caretaker minister-president of a minority government.
“Anyone who, as head of government during an official state visit, uses the international stage to delegitimaize the outcome of democratic elections in Germany and issues a ban on coalitions is abusing his or her office and violating the Basic Law and its guaranteed equal opportunities for parties,” AfD spokesman Joerg Meuthen said in a press release Wednesday.
Meuthen called on the court to record the actions of the federal chancellor to determine whether or not they were legal.
The complaints have been filed under a legal procedure which allows authorities to monitor the government’s compliance with Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law. The AfD is asking the court to review the complaints in an expedited manner.
Founded in Berlin in 2013, AfD has become a major force in German politics, particularly in the country’s east, holding 89 of the 709 seats in the Bundestag, and 243 more seats of 1,868 available in state parliaments. The party has feuded with Angela Merkel for years, particularly over her policy on immigration, and has expressed criticism of measures to further integrate Germany into the European Union. In March 2020, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution subjected a faction of the party to state surveillance after classifying it as a “right-wing extremist endevour” that challenges the constitution.