Nationalist party in Germany to hold leadership election

December 1, 2017

BERLIN (AP) — A nationalist party in Germany that won seats in parliament for the first time this year has a leadership race this weekend to fill a void created when its best-known figure abruptly quit.

Alternative for Germany co-chair Frauke Petry quit the party, known as AfD, in September, accusing it of flirting with far-right extremism.

Petry’s departure left her rival, Joerg Meuthen, alone as chairman. Meuthen is vying for re-election Saturday at the party’s meeting in Hannover. It’s not clear if AfD will decide to have one or two chairs.

Parliamentary leader Alice Weidel says she won’t run, but is backing Georg Pazderski, AfD’s Berlin-branch leader as chairman.

Alexander Gauland, the party’s other parliamentary leader, has left running as an open possibility. Gauland has suggested he doesn’t support Pazderski.

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