No presidency candidacy: Meuthen withdraws from AfD leadership

The long-time AfD co-chairman Meuthen no longer wants to run for the top position in the new election of the party executive in December. In a circular to the party members, he explains that he did not make the decision easy for himself.

The long-time AfD party leader Jörg Meuthen is withdrawing. After intensive deliberations and discussions with his family, he decided not to run for the top position in the new election of the party executive committee in December, he wrote in a circular to the AfD members. The 60-year-old currently shares the chairmanship with Tino Chrupalla, who leads the parliamentary group together with Alice Weidel. But he will continue his political work “and use my voice audibly,” added Meuthen in his letter.

Meuthen is a MEP. In the past two years, he had pleaded for a more moderate course for the AfD. He has made enemies in the right wing movement of the party around the Thuringian AfD country chief Björn Höcke. This trend is observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a right-wing extremist endeavor.

“This is a personal decision by Jörg Meuthen,” said Chrupalla. The relationship between the two co-chairs has recently been very tense. The AfD wants to elect its new party executive at a two-day federal party conference in Wiesbaden, which is scheduled for December 11th. Chrupalla said he had already announced that he would run again there. He did not want to say who – should it stay with the dual leadership – from his point of view would be an option as co-chair.

From the AfD you can hear that Chrupalla, who comes from Saxony, should be elected as a co-chairman from the West. In this context, weidel, the North Rhine-Westphalian AfD state chairman Rüdiger Lucassen and the Bavarian AfD boss Peter Boehringer are named. Meuthen wrote that he wished the delegates at the federal party convention all the best in electing the new party leadership. “May you make a prudent choice and choose sensible board members who will advance our party as a determined rule of law party and as the strong and only resolute liberal-conservative force.”

Meuthen was elected co-chair for the first time in the summer of 2015 at a party congress in Essen, which was marked by tumult. At that time, Frauke Petry was at the head of the party with him. She left the AfD after the 2017 federal election and complained about the party’s shift to the right.