In North Rhine-Westphalia, the AfD excluded Christian Blex because he wanted to visit the Donbass. Others who wanted to ride face few consequences.
BERLIN taz | In dealing with the planned trip to Donbass by some AfD MPs, a clear dividing line can be identified within the party. Once again it runs between East and West: while the parliamentary group of Saxony-Anhalt is said to have even paid for the flights of the MPs on the way to the war zone, the AfD parliamentary group in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia has the MP Christian Blex involved thrown to the faction. With the required two-thirds majority, Blex was ruled out on Tuesday without a personal hearing.
The faction was probably also so easily excluded because Blex, which belonged to the Höcke camp, was already considered a notorious torment in the AfD NRW. After the travel plans became known, the group first spoke of an uncoordinated private trip and then asked Blex to return immediately for a personal hearing on the cause and a statement.
The deputy was last week together with party friends Hans-Thomas Tillschneider and Daniel Wald, who are also close to Höcke traveled to Russia, the latter from the AfD parliamentary group in Saxony-Anhalt. They wanted to travel to the Donbass from Russia, and the Russian government apparently invited them to do so. In the meantime, the delegation has announced that it will cancel the trip. It’s not the first time that Turn AfD politicians into Putin’s propaganda accomplices.
Martin Vincentz, parliamentary group leader and head of the AfD NRW, told the taz that the parliamentary group had made the corresponding decision in its meeting on Tuesday: The majority of members see Blex’s behavior as “a gross violation of the basic rules of the group community”, so Vincentz, “the parliamentary group evaluates the behavior of Dr. Blex as a serious breach of trust and, in view of these facts, sees no basis for further cooperation.”
Uncertainty about the whereabouts of the deputies
To make matters worse, Blex continued to show no understanding in a written statement to the parliamentary group. In the statement, the deputy “never formulated accommodatingly towards the group” that the trip represented a violation of the basic values of the group community, according to Vincentz: “Instead, in his statement, he emphasizes his right to travel in this way without knowledge or even consultation to be able to perform with the faction.”
It is certain that the AfD NRW will continue to deal with the case: Upcoming meetings of the state board are likely to be controversial – because Blex is part of the board itself. As treasurer, he is responsible for the finances of the regional association. Further conflicts are therefore inevitable.
The AfD co-chairs Weidel and Chrupalla had also asked for clarification about the trip and asked the “delegation” to coordinate their communication about the trip – in fact it was after the meek announcement of the AfD delegation to cancel the tripunusually quiet on their social media channels.
The exact whereabouts of the travelers to Russia were still unclear on Wednesday, including within the AfD. While it was heard from party circles at the beginning of the week that the delegation was still in Russia, Saxony-Anhalt was silent on the matter.
When asked by the taz about the whereabouts of the parliamentary group members and possible consequences, the parliamentary manager Oliver Kirchner simply said: “Exactly, we will tell you that.” When asked again whether the voters were also interested in what happened their tax money is financed in this way, it was said: “We will tell them that, don’t worry about it.”