Alternative for Germany, or AfD, is emerging as the third party competitor for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union ahead of Germany’s federal election. The vote is going to take place this Sunday.
The AfD has been gaining ground sharply in recent days because the two current mainstream parties (according to the polling) have completely ignored immigration into Germany. This is happening in spite of the country currently faring very well under its extremely globalist leader, Chancellor Merkel.
Though every other party refuses to work with them, the AfD is poised to become the “second” party after the vote on Sunday as Angela Merkel’s CDU party will be working with the main left wing socialist party, the Social Democrats, to form a government.
As this country’s election campaign reaches its crescendo ahead of Sunday’s vote, its participants appear to be fighting different battles. Ms. Merkel, looking assured of victory, is engaging her opponents in mainstream parties on pensions, infrastructure, education, and economic policy. The Alternative for Germany is creeping up in the polls while positioning itself as the only party sounding the alarm about what it says is the existential threat posed by Muslim immigration.
The AfD, as the party is known, is now polling above 10%, less than its peak early this year and well below what other far-right parties elsewhere in Europe have garnered in recent elections. But for Germany, if the polls hold, its impending entry into parliament would mark a turning point in a country where right-wing populism has long been banished from mainstream discussion. And it would show that despite Germany’s thriving economy, an undercurrent of popular distrust and discontent threatens to unsettle a largely stable political system.
The unease is especially apparent here in the former East Germany, where unemployment is higher and the mainstream political parties less deeply anchored than in the more prosperous former West. But AfD is drawing rising support from across the country, polls show.
Interviews with AfD supporters conducted in recent weeks, from the German southwest to here on the Baltic seacoast, yielded one common complaint: Mainstream politicians, the voters said, don’t take their concerns about immigration seriously enough.
Sounds like another country we all know and love.