The AfD has lost 2,500 members within a year
Die AfD reportedly lost around 2,500 members last year. In June 2021, the then party leader Jörg Meuthen had given the number as “around 31,000”, the party currently only has 28,636 members, the newspaper “Die Welt” reported on Wednesday, citing a party spokesman. The losses include resignations memberships terminated due to non-payment or death for political reasons or due to internal party processes.
The party leader Alice Weidel told the newspaper: “Every former AfD member has his own personal and private reasons why he is no longer involved in the AfD.” From the number of exits, “however, it cannot be concluded that former members are no longer involved with the politics of the AfD AfD agree”.
According to the report, AfD founding member Monica-Ines Oppel is among those who left. She was President of the AfD Federal Arbitration Court for many years. Oppel told the “Welt”: “The AfD showed the liberal conservatives the red card with their personal decisions and programmatic discussions at the federal party conference in Riesa barring any reason.” This party had “started its journey into political insignificance”.
According to Oppel, many other “liberal conservatives”, as the comparatively moderates in the party call themselves, have also gradually lost confidence in the AfD’s power to change. According to “Welt” information, Gabriele Walger-Demolsky, until May 2022 a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament and critic of the right-wing camp, also resigned after the federal party conference.
Some previous members followed Meuthen to the Center Party. The former party leader told the “Welt” that since he joined the Center Party, almost 20 former AfD members have been accepted there. “Of course there were more inquiries. But we are taking a very restrictive approach here,” said Meuthen. He certified that the AfD was “now so far to the right that the observation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is no longer surprising”.
Center party leader Christian Otte answered the request with a different number. Since Meuthen’s accession at the beginning of June, “about 50 members with former AfD affiliations have joined the party, including ten municipal elected representatives,” said Otte. Another 15 membership requests from former AfD members were rejected. Twelve former AfD members, including six municipal elected representatives, are currently in the admissions process.