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SIDEBAR Bavarian police conduct raids against AfD as local election heats up

Europe
12.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Munich (dpa) - A fake bloodbath and a new police investigation just days before regional elections in Germany‘s southern state of Bavaria have brought the bitter rivalry between the embattled governing conservatives and a budding far-right party to boiling point.

Police raided the homes of six members of the youth wing of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Thursday after the headquarters of its rival party were daubed with fake blood at night to make it look like a homicide crime scene.

A week before Sunday‘s election, "Merkel‘s dead," had been smeared at the building of Bavaria‘s arch-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party to German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democrats.

The far-right AfD ties the CSU to Merkel‘s immigration policy, which it blames for the deaths of a number of Germans killed by migrants.

In response to the deaths of German citizens where migrants were suspected to have been involved, notably a fatal stabbing in the eastern city of Chemnitz, north of Bavaria, the far-right has organized numerous anti-immigrant protests, some marked by attacks on people believed to be foreigners.

Among those suspected of being involved in the attack on the CSU‘s office is the AfD‘s state parliament candidate Rafael Hauptmann, who first made the raids public on his Facebook profile.

The party‘s youth wing, also suspected of having taken part in the smear, said the raids were a "scandal" and accused the rival CSU party of having abused power over security forces.

The state prosecutor‘s office says it started the investigation and the CSU did not file charges. "From our perspective, this is a case of public interest," a spokeswoman for the state prosecutor said.

Pressured to hold onto its voter base, the CSU has tacked to the right ahead of election day as it attempts to counter the rise of the right-wing populists with a hard line on migration and promotion of Bavarian traditions.

 

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