German court upholds exclusion of extremist member from far-right AfD

A court in the south-western German city of Stuttgart on Saturday upheld a decision by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) to exclude former member Andreas Kalbitz over his alleged extremist views.

Germany’s Federal Arbitration Court had confirmed the party’s decision of this May, thereby annulling Kalbitz’s membership, the AfD said in a statement.

“It is not really surprising,” Kalbitz told dpa.

The party had earlier been split over the decision to exclude Kalbitz for his alleged past membership in extremist organizations.

The AfD expelled Kalbitz on May 15, claiming that he did not disclose his membership in the German Youth Faithful to the Homeland (HDJ) in his application.

However, a Berlin court then ruled that he had to be reinstated as a member because the expulsion went against German laws that require termination of membership to be decided by special party tribunals.

Earlier on Saturday, AfD leader Joerg Meuthen repeated his view that Kalbitz has no future in the AfD.

“We are very sure of our legal position,” Meuthen said during a break in the proceedings.

Kalbitz meanwhile said that he would continue to fight on in a civil court, emphasizing that the decision was a “highly political matter.”

“It’s a proxy war, I’m just a figure,” he told dpa. “The question then is: Who is next?”

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