Berlin / Saarbrucken – The AfD federal leadership has removed the Saarland state board under the leadership of Josef Dorr with immediate effect. The reason was “serious violations of the principles of the order of the party,” the Federal Executive Committee justified its decision on Tuesday. The regional association of the Saar should initially be headed by an emergency board consisting of the federal board members Carsten Hutter, Joachim Paul and Stephan Protschka. An application for this will be made to the responsible arbitral tribunal of the party, said the AfD in Berlin.
The AfD federal board justified the dismissal among other things with the fact that the Saarland board manipulated the process of the membership admission by not processing the application for admission, deliberately significantly delaying it or by misusing it by exercising its right to object. He also “manipulated targeted delegate elections in the district associations through his members”.
Saar chairman Dorr described the decision of the federal executive board as “absolutely crazy” and announced resistance: he would exhaust “all legal possibilities”. “The allegations are drawn to the hair. We have already refuted everything, “said the 81-year-old of the German Press Agency in Saarbrucken. “I’m flat. I wouldn’t have thought that they could do something stupid like that. ” To justify the dismissal, he said: “This is ridiculous. We just don’t accept members we don’t know. ” Dorr has been head of the AfD since 2015 and has been the parliamentary group leader since 2017.
Ten members of the Federal Executive Board voted for the decision by telephone conference. Three members of the top committee abstained. According to the Saarland AfD member of the Bundestag Christian Wirth, the case ends up at the Federal Arbitration Court. The federal executive had “carefully” considered its decision based on many documents from the past years over several meetings, he said.
A power struggle has been raging in the AfD Saar for years. One of Dorr’s critics, the AfD member of parliament Lutz Hecker, said of the decision: “I think the decision is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, it comes very late. ” It would now be “very difficult” to make the state association “capable of acting” again in good time in preparation for the federal election.
Dorr specifically blocked the admission of members. “This is not at all compatible with the principles of a democratic party,” said Hecker. He also “deliberately destroyed the Merzig-Wadern district association” because he had not recognized the district board elected there. Dorr has also been repeatedly accused of insulting opponents within the party: They have asked to leave the party, an insider said. According to Dorr, the AfD has around 480 members in Saarland.
The party executive announced that it would present the regulatory measure to the next federal party convention for review. When this congress will take place is still completely open. A federal party convention in Offenburg, originally planned for the end of April, had been canceled due to the corona pandemic.
The AfD federal executive had already decided in spring 2016 to dissolve the Saar – due to alleged contacts by the state association to right-wing extremists. The Federal Arbitration Court had rejected the application in October 2016: a dissolution of the state association was disproportionate, it was said at the time.