Split emerges in German far right as co-leader storms out of news conference

BERLIN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 25, 2017) (REUTERS) – Divisions emerged in the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Monday (September 25), a day after it took third place in a national election, as its co-leader said she would not sit in parliament with AfD members.

Frauke Petry, who was long considered the AfD’s most recognisable face but has been less visible in recent months, stormed out of a news conference after saying she would take up her seat but would not be part of AfD’s parliamentary group.

Petry made her surprise announcement after the AfD scored 12.6 percent in Sunday’s election, meaning it will be the first far-right party to enter the German parliament in more than half a century.

Alexander Gauland, one of the AfD’s top candidates, said neither he, nor the other top candidate Alice Weidel nor co-leader Joerg Meuthen knew why Petry left.

The board stated their goal was to get back their country blaming the migrant crisis and said they were horrified by comparisons with the Nazis.

The party, founded in 2013 by a group of academics opposed to the euro, has long been riven by infighting. Commentators have predicted that its divisions could be amplified by its entry onto the national political stage.