According to a ruling by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) violated her duty of neutrality by calling the election of Thuringian Prime Minister Thomas Kemmerich “inexcusable” with CDU votes and of the AfD.
The AfD’s case against the former chancellor was thus successful. Merkel voiced the criticisms at a news conference in South Africa in February 2020, the day after the controversial Thuringia election.
Merkel called for the election to be reversed
She also called for the election to be reversed. Kemmerich resigned from the post a little later. FDP candidate Kemmerich was elected prime minister in the third vote in Thuringia after leftist politician Bodo Ramelow failed in the previous vote.
In the third ballot, a simple majority of votes was sufficient. Kemmerich’s majority came with the votes of the FDP, CDU and AfD. The AfD is led in the Thuringian state parliament by Björn Höcke, who is considered a right-wing extremist according to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
Merkel: ‘unforgivable’ lawsuit
The election of a prime minister with the help of the AfD caused a stir in Germany and abroad. At the time, Merkel was on a trip to South Africa. The day after the events in Thuringia, Merkel gave a press conference in Pretoria, which she presented with a “preliminary remark for domestic reasons”.
She spoke of a “unique process that broke with a core conviction of the CDU” and also of her that no majority should be won with AfD votes. The process is “unforgivable” and the result must be reversed. She concluded her statement with the words: “It was a bad day for democracy.”