Berlin (dpa) – The administrative court in Cologne’s decision to classify the AfD as a so-called suspect case has been welcomed by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the police union and politicians from other parties.
AfD top representatives held back on Wednesday with reactions. Party leader Tino Chrupalla said when asked by the German press agency that one must now wait for the written justification for the verdict in order to be able to discuss how to move forward. “We will not be impressed by the judgment of our opposition politics.”
The court decided on Tuesday that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution can classify and monitor the AfD as a suspect case. The party had tried to prevent that. Such a classification allows the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, under certain conditions, to monitor communications and use undercover agents and other intelligence agencies. However, it is not yet legally binding – an appeal is possible. Chrupalla had said the AfD would decide whether to file further appeals based on the written reasons for the verdict.
Schuster: AfD is a wolf in sheep’s clothing
“With the classification as a suspect case, the true face of the AfD, which often bears features of a far-right grimace, will finally become visible,” Central Council Chairman Josef Schuster said on Wednesday. He accused the party of presenting itself as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” in recent months. “To stave off an investigation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, she tried to put on a cloak of civility.”
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) said in ZDF “Morgenmagazin” about the verdict that, politically speaking, this was another signal to the citizens to think very carefully about “whether you can at least vote for a party that is at least a suspicion of the matter. to have a divided relationship with our rule of law”. The FDP’s deputy parliamentary group leader Konstantin Kuhle spoke about the necessary legal certainty for the fight against right-wing extremism. “The decision shows: AfD is as bourgeois as a combat boot.”
The verdict was also welcomed by SPD, Greens and CSU politicians. Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) said the verdict sent a “clear signal to all enemies of the constitution”. The domestic spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Lamya Kaddor, spoke of a good day “for our democracy”. The AfD is “a disgrace to Germany” and has “strong anti-constitutional aspirations,” CSU General Secretary Stephan Mayer wrote on Twitter. “It is good that she can now be observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.”
The Police Confederation (GdP) announced that its assessment “of the danger that the AfD poses to democracy and coexistence in this country” was confirmed. “The AfD is, at least in large part, an extremist party representing misanthropic views,” said GdP federal chairman Oliver Malchow.
Effects on public service?
According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the judgment may also affect civil servants and employees who are members of the AfD. Every employee in the public sector is committed to the goals of the constitution, said the president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, in ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. He could imagine that it would be assessed on a case-by-case basis whether these employees could remain in public service.
A political engagement in the AfD and the police profession did not go together, said GdP chief Malchow. The police in this country do not act with political motivation, but act within the framework of the law and based on the free-democratic basic order.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220308-99-436552/14