Status: 23/09/2023, 20:46 p.m.
By: Felix Durach
In Nordhausen in Thuringia, the AfD could provide a mayor for the first time. Jörg Prophet is the favorite in the run-off election on Sunday. The news ticker.
- Decision in the run-off: AfD candidate Jörg Prophet received 42.1 percent of the vote in the first round of voting
- Next AfD success? Right-wing populists could nominate a mayor for the first time in their history
- This news ticker about the mayoral election in Nordhausen is updated regularly.
Nordhausen – The right-wing populist AfD is still on the upswing in Germany. In the latest polls, the party repeatedly achieved values above 20 percent at the federal level. Especially in East Germany, the Alternative for Germany has many sympathizers. In the Sonneberg district in Thuringia, the right-wing populists have had a district administrator for the first time since July of this year. Shortly thereafter, the AfD was also able to win a mayoral election in Raghun-Jeßnitz (Saxony-Anhalt) – also a novelty. On Sunday (24 September), the next election victory could follow.
An election poster of Jörg Prophet, AfD candidate for the mayoral election in Nordhausen, stands in the city center. © Martin Schutt/dpa
Mayoral election in Nordhausen – AfD on the verge of next success in Thuringia
In Nordhausen, Thuringia, AfD candidate Jörg Prophet wants to become the first mayor of his party. The chances of this happening are not bad. In the first round of voting, the 61-year-old entrepreneur received 42.1 percent of the vote. In the run-off election, he will face incumbent Kai Buchmann (independent), who received only 23.7 percent. Voter turnout in the city of just under 41,000 inhabitants was 56.4 percent.
Prophet can rely on prominent support from his own party for his project. The party's co-chairman Tino Chrupalla and the AfD's top candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah, have traveled to Thuringia for campaign appearances. Chrupalla's co-chair Alice Weidel also called for the election of Prophet in a video on platform X (formerly Twitter). The citizens of Nordhausen would have the opportunity to make history on Sunday, Weidel said.
The entire Thuringia state association of the AfD around parliamentary group chairman Björn Höcke is classified in the 2021 report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a "proven right-wing extremist effort against the free democratic basic order".
AfD candidate Jörg Prophet – The Office for the Protection of the Constitution saw a "historical revisionist agenda"
In addition to his party's current high in the polls, Prophet could also benefit from the failures of his runoff opponent. Disciplinary proceedings are underway against incumbent Buchmann for bullying allegations, and the politician, who used to have a Green Party card, was suspended for a few months. An administrative court reversed the suspension, Buchmann has been back in office since the beginning of August, but the relationship with the SPD district administrator is considered to be broken.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
In the past, Prophet was also noticed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Especially with an article from 2021 on the website of the Nordhausen AfD district association. It is about the bombing of Dresden and the memory of it. In it, Prophet writes: "But it becomes schizophrenic when it is openly propagated today that terror against the civilian population is always permissible when it hits a perpetrator people." The Office for the Protection of the Constitution later cites excerpts from the text as evidence that the AfD's "historical revisionist agenda" has an impact "on the breadth of the state association." Prophet did not distance himself from his text.
Mayoral election in Nordhausen – Concentration camp memorial site invites AfD candidates
The Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial, which is located in the district of Nordhausen, had already distanced itself from Prophet in the run-up to the election. Out of consideration for the survivors and their relatives, Jörg Prophet will not be invited to commemorative events, said Anett Dremel, acting director of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial. "For weeks, we have been receiving letters from survivors' associations expressing concern," said Dremel.
Between 1943 and 1945, about 60,000 people were deported to the concentration camp, and the SS officially recorded 12,000 deaths. The memorial estimates that at least 20,000 prisoners did not survive the deportation to the concentration camp. (FD with dpa)