Political scientist Wolfgang Schroeder has criticized the participation of the Thuringian CDU top candidate Mario Voigt in tomorrow’s planned TV duel with the AfD top candidate Björn Höcke. “It is a mistake on Voigt’s part to arrange a TV duel with Höcke,” said the scientist in an interview with the Funke media group.

Voigt is thereby contributing to “further normalization and establishment of the AfD”. A new state parliament will be elected in Thuringia on September 1st. The AfD, which is classified by the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution as definitely right-wing extremist in the Free State, has mostly been above the 30 percent mark in recent surveys and is therefore in first place.

The CDU followed behind. Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow’s left still wants to catch up, but is also weakening because of the founding of the Sahra Wagenknecht alliance, which also wants to run for state elections. The political situation in Thuringia has been considered extremely complicated for years – surveys do not show any politically feasible majorities. Ramelow has led the country with a minority government since 2020.