Tino Chrupalla has been re-elected as AfD federal chairman.

A good 53 percent of the delegates at the party conference in Riesa, Saxony, gave the 47-year-old master painter from Saxony their vote on Saturday.

Around 36 percent of the more than 500 delegates supported his challenger Norbert Kleinwächter, the deputy parliamentary group leader;

ten percent voted against both candidates.

The revolt against the party leader, which Chrupalla's opponents within the party had instigated, has clearly failed.

Andreas Nefger

Editor in Politics.

  • Follow I follow

Alice Weidel was elected as Chrupallas co-chair.

In the further course of the day, the deputy "federal spokesman" and the rest of the board should also be determined.

Kleinwächter had called on the party to be more united in his application speech: "We won't save Germany by fighting the other camp, but by fighting the political opponent." The member of the Bundestag presented himself as a candidate who did not belong to any camp.

"Dear friends, I'm not a camp stallion," Kleinwächter said in the direction of the delegates, but at the same time used the signal words that his supporters could understand to differentiate themselves from the radicals in the party: "The AfD is the bourgeois party, liberal and conservative."

Chrupalla presents himself as the "federal spokesman of the base".

Speaking directly to Chrupalla, Kleinwächter said he knew that being the party leader "is an incredibly difficult task in which you have to make mistakes".

The party advances best when one person – namely Chruplla – brings the group into shape with all his might and the other the party.

"That's what I stand for."

Chrupalla made combative statements towards his opponents and presented himself as the "federal spokesman for the grassroots". If he was attacked, it was only because "the grassroots should be silenced".

In the direction of those who are behind the failed revolt, he said: "This behavior destroys exactly what we are building at the information stand and in the parliaments." The party leader appealed to the delegates: "Let's put an end to these things here and now .” Chrupalla also used his speech to distinguish the AfD from the conservative parties in the Bundestag.

The party is not a second FDP or CDU, he said.

"We do not participate in compulsory vaccination, war and open borders."

First, the party congress had to vote on whether the AfD should continue to be led by two “federal spokespersons” or, for the first time, by just one federal chairman.

On Friday afternoon, the delegates cleared the way for an individual leadership with the two-thirds majority required for a change in the statutes.

A good 69 percent of the delegates voted in favor of the motion, which was submitted by Thuringia's state chairman Björn Höcke, among others.

It stipulates that the party should have one or two “federal spokespersons” instead of the previous two or three.

In justifying his application, the right-wing extremist Höcke had pleaded for a single leader.

Dual leadership are "prone to conflict".

In view of the notorious disputes at the top of the party, however, he campaigned for Riesa to once again refrain from electing just one "federal spokesman".

For the first time in the history of the party, the new federal executive must show that harmonious cooperation is also possible before the possibility of individual leadership is used.

Other arguments were heard in the discussion on Saturday.

The Baden-Württemberg member of the Bundestag Dirk Spaniel said in his plea for a single leader: "Then we have a successful or a guilty party, and it's over with the blame." Spaniel represented a minority position.

In the end, almost 80 percent of the delegates voted for dual leadership.

Chrupalla has led the AfD since November 2019, initially alongside Jörg Meuthens and since the resignation of his co-chairman earlier this year.

Meuthen, who at the end of his term in office had sought open debate with the radical forces in the AfD, had resigned from office and left the AfD, citing "totalitarian echoes" in the party.

Meuthen's former supporters accuse Chrupalla of not distancing himself from the right-wing edge of the party.

In addition, the party leader has been criticized for poor results in a number of state elections and his Russia policy.

Shortly before the party congress, his opponents had switched to an open attack and sent Norbert Kleinwächter into the race.

But even supporters had only given the Bavarian, who came into the Bundestag via the Brandenburg state list, only outsider chances.

The supporters of Kleinwächter fear that the new board could distance itself even less from the radicals in the party.

One of the indicators for this is dealing with Andreas Kalbitz, the former head of the Brandenburg state.

Meuthen and his allies pushed through Kalbitz's party exclusion against Chrupalla in 2020.

Alongside Höcke, Kalbitz is considered the second leading figure of the formally dissolved, folkish "wing".

In connection with the personnel situation, the right-wing camp had suffered a defeat at the beginning of the party congress.

The Brandenburg state executive wanted to have the ban on Kalbitz appearing at AfD events voted on in Riesa.

But the motion did not make it onto the agenda.

Around 54 percent of delegates voted not to refer to it.