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SIDEBAR Bavarian minority party breaks rank, considers working with far-right

Europe
16.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Munich (dpa) - Bavaria‘s Free Voters political party signalled its willingness on Tuesday to work constructively with the Alternative for Germany (AfD), breaking ranks with all the main parties in Germany, which have thus far ruled out any cooperation with the AfD.

In the event of participation in a coalition at state level following Sunday‘s elections, the Free Voters, a party with an eclectic range of policies, will consider talking to the far-right, anti-immigrant AfD, party head Hubert Aiwanger said.

"I want to talk to all the parties," Aiwanger said in Munich. The aim had to be to find a fundamental consensus among all members of the Bavarian parliament with respect to how government and opposition dealt with each other and with the AfD in particular.

The Free Voters are the first choice to be coalition partner for the Christian Social Union (CSU), which has dominated post-war Bavarian politics, but saw its electoral support slashed on Sunday.

During the election campaign, CSU leader Markus Soeder made plain his rejection of the AfD, seen by the other main parties as xenophobic and extremist, and ruled out any cooperation.

Many Free Voters policies are similar to those of the CSU, such as stricter controls of the German borders and promoting local traditions, while other policies tend to be more in line with the environmental and social concerns typical of the Greens or the Social Democrats (SPD).

Sunday‘s elections have reshuffled the Bavarian political deck by reducing the CSU to 37.2 per cent while boosting the Greens to 17.5 per cent, putting them in second place. The Free Voters are third on 11.6, the AfD fourth with 10.2 and the Social Democrats fifth on 9.7 per cent. Substantive coalition talks have yet to begin.

 

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