How successful is the AfD?
Four years after it was founded, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is on the verge of entering the German Bundestag. According to the polls, the party could receive between nine and twelve percent of votes cast. Commentators discuss why many voters could give their support to the right-wing populist, national conservative party.
Merkel to blame for rise of the right
Angela Merkel will be re-elected but she bears partial responsibility for the success of the right-wing populist AfD, the Romanian service of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle believes:
“Certainly, the Germans are doing too well to bid Merkel farewell and vote en masse for the AfD. After twelve years in power the chancellor can rejoice over such a huge bonus. In the eyes of many this whitewashes the terrible contretemps of 2015: the impetuous opening of the borders of Germany and Europe to an uncontrolled flood of refugees. ... But that doesn't mean the voters don't know who is partially to blame for the rise of the AfD. For the first time in the postwar era a [conservative] chancellery has shifted to the left. The result? The right-wing populists have securely positioned themselves to the right of the Christian Democrats.”
The struggle for dominance in the opposition
Opposition from the right and left fringes of the political spectrum will grow stronger with the rise of Alternative for Germany and the Left Party, Daily Sabah believes:
“Unfortunately, the real winner of the elections on September 24 might turn out to be the Alternative for Germany (AfD). With its far-right slogans and rhetoric, the party is expected to garner between 9 and 12 percent of the vote. The only party that has the potential to stop it becoming the third strongest group in parliament is the Left Party. But it's unlikely that the AfD and the Left will make any meaningful contribution to Germany's future. They will probably form the opposition to a grand coalition and might even be able to increase their share of the vote in the next four years, which would be catastrophic for the SPD.”