Members of Germany”s largest opposition party have voted on their new election manifesto. The far-right Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) will run on an anti-lockdown, anti-immigration and anti-EU platform, under the slogan “Germany. But normal.”
The so-called “Dexit” policy emerged at a two-day conference to firm up its strategy ahead of Germany’s general election in September.
The AfD’s 600 delegates controversially met in person in Dresden, despite the ongoing pandemic.
The party, which built its base on opposing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policy, used the meeting to harden its stance on family reunification for refugees, voting in favour of a total ban.
The AfD has also sought to appeal to critics of Germany’s coronavirus policy and to the thousands of people who have protested the lockdown measures over the last year.
The party’s co-chair, Joerg Meuthen, called on Saturday for an end to “these orgies of bans, these imprisonments, this madness of the lockdown.”
Despite casting itself as the ‘anti-lockdown’ party, it hasn’t managed to capitalise on the economic and social difficulties resulting from the pandemic, or on the movement against pandemic restrictions.
The party has seen a significant slump in its support. It has dipped to around 11 per cent in polls from nearly 13 per cent in the 2017 election when it became the official parliamentary opposition.