AfD faces embarrassment after running out of candidates in local elections

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Party officials blamed the debacle on the difficulty of finding candidates prepared to stand for the elections.

“Many potential candidates told us it would jeopardizes their social and professional lives if they stood for the AfD,” Jörg Urban, a local area chairman, said.

He cited the case of Uwe Vetterlein, who resigned as head of the Saxon Handball Association this week following controversy over his decision to stand as an AfD candidate in Dresden.

A team based in Leipzig had objected to what it called the “nationalist, discriminatory and anti-democratic views and populist language” of the AfD and demanded Mr Vetterlein stand down.

The AfD became the first nationalist party to sit in the German parliament since the sixties in 2017 after making dramatic gains campaigning on an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platform.

Its leader, Alexander Gauland, has described the crimes of the Nazis as a “speck of birds*** in 1,000 years of glorious German history”.

Another of its most prominent politicians has called for a “180-degree turn” in Germany’s culture of atonement for the crimes of the Second World War.



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