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The AfD is excluded from the group in the EU Parliament

The AfD is excluded from the group in the EU Parliament

The Identity and Democracy group, which brings together far-right and populist parties, has split in the EU Parliament. On Thursday afternoon, it was announced that the third largest party in the group, the right-wing nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD), had been excluded.

The reason is that many other parties want to distance themselves from the AfD candidate, Maximilian Krah. The politician received severe criticism after his statement about the Nazi SS. Krah recently told an Italian newspaper that he “would never say that anyone who wears an SS uniform is automatically a criminal.”

From the identity group The two largest parties, the Italian League and the French National Assembly, were among those who voted to exclude the AfD. It was reported that the Austrian Freedom Party opposed it, and the Danish People's Party abstained from voting German newspaper Die Welt.

Photography: Mahdi Shabil

Alternative for Germany plans to protest the decision. If the party is excluded, the members are left without a group, which in practice means they will lose power in the European Parliament. Members who do not belong to any group get less time to speak and have less opportunity to receive important political assignments.

At home in Germany The AfD has a tailwind in public opinion. The party appears set to gain 16 seats in the European Parliament, according to a poll conducted by the organization Elect Europe. In the last elections, the party won 9 seats.

Before the exclusion announcement came, the French Development Agency tried to prevent it, by excluding Maximilian Krah from the same group. The first candidate had previously announced that he would not appear again before the elections, and that he would leave the party's board of directors. However, it is too late to remove him from the party list. It is currently unclear whether the politician plans to take up his position as an MEP if elected.

The leader of the French National Assembly, Marine Le Pen, on Wednesday, harshly criticized the Alternative for Germany party.

It is time to break with this leaderless movement that is clearly dominated by extremist groups, she told French radio station Europe 1.

Read more: AfD candidate leaves party board after his statement about the SS

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