Germany: “Endangered Democracy”

Manuel Ochsenreiter, director of the Berlin-based German Center for Eurasian Studies
Manuel Ochsenreiter, director of the Berlin-based German Center for Eurasian Studies

More and more cases of irregularities are being revealed from the May 14 regional elections in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The results of the Eurosceptic party “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD) especially are lowered by manipulations according to reports.

The director of the German Center for Eurasian Studies, Manuel Ochsenreiter, sees in these developments an alarming signal and calls Germany an “endangered democracy”:

“There is a certain pattern visible: Especially the Eurosceptic AfD party faced unfair conditions already during the election campaign. Campaigners and politicians were physically attacked, hotels and restaurants hosting AfD events were threatened, election posters were destroyed.

Also the ´wrong counting´ of votes after the polling stations closed shows the pattern of systematically conducted manipulations.

In a functioning democracy, it would be the job of the government to secure the conditions for free, equal and secret elections. But in Germany, government politicians such as the German minister of justice, Heiko Maas, are neither willing nor able to take a neutral stance. It seems like the extremists attacking frequently AfD politicians and events can rely on the inaction of the Merkel government.

The national elections in September are endangered to become a real festival of systematic manipulations. Germany is an endangered democracy. We urgently need an international election observation mission in Germany for the national elections in September 2017.”