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6 Feb, 2020 14:37

‘Shame on you’: Protests in Germany after surprise election of Thuringia’s chief with AfD’s support sparks uproar

‘Shame on you’: Protests in Germany after surprise election of Thuringia’s chief with AfD’s support sparks uproar

Demonstrations were staged in German cities after the head of the state of Thuringia was elected with the backing of the anti-migrant AfD party. The vote created a fresh dent in the ruling coalition in Berlin.

Protesters gathered for a vigil outside the State Chancellery in Thuringia’s capital Erfurt on Thursday to denounce pro-business Free Democratic Party’s (FDP) Thomas Kemmerich, who was unexpectedly elected the region’s Minister-President (MP) with the support of the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The Left party and antifa groups began marching and rallying in front of the State Chancellery and regional parliament right after Kemmerich beat the Left’s incumbent by one vote on Wednesday. The rallies quickly spread to other cities in Thuringia and elsewhere, including Berlin.

The protesters held placards saying ‘Not my MP’, ‘Compassionate for Thuringia’ and ‘Shame on you’, and called for Kemmerich to resign. The politician initially refused to do so but later said that FDP will ask to dissolve the parliament in order to have a new vote.

The Left’s regional leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow staged her own protest in Thuringia’s parliament. Instead of giving Kemmerich flowers after his swearing-in ceremony, she threw the bouquet at his feet.

Kemmerich’s election was made possible only because AfD, FDP and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) voted together. This instantly caused a firestorm in German politics because CDU’s usual line is not to cooperate with the AfD in any way. The move also infuriated CDU’s traditional coalition partners, the Social Democrats, deteriorating the parties’ already uneasy relations further.

The CDU leadership said that the party’s Thuringian members acted against their recommendations and called for a new election in the region.

Also on rt.com ‘Taboo gone’: Ruling coalition in Germany shaken by fresh crisis after Merkel’s CDU breaks ranks on not cooperating with AfD

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