Chancellor Olaf Scholz has rejected any form of cooperation with the AfD. “There can and must not be any cooperation with this party,” said the SPD politician of the “Thuringian General”. This also applies to district councils as well as city and municipal councils. “I don’t see any reason for cooperation in the municipalities either,” emphasized Scholz. “Anyone who wants a day-care center to be built can make such a proposal themselves. They don’t need an extreme right-wing party for that.”

Statements by CDU leader Friedrich Merz on how to deal with the AfD in municipalities had recently triggered heated discussions. Merz had said on ZDF with a view to the AfD’s electoral successes: “We have to accept that. And of course the local parliaments must also look for ways to shape the city, the state, the district together.” After severe criticism, including from his own ranks, he assured that his party’s incompatibility decision from 2018 applies. It says: “Germany’s CDU rejects coalitions and similar forms of cooperation with both the Left Party and the Alternative for Germany.”

When asked whether the situation in the Thuringian state parliament, where the AfD has won the majority several times, is a problem, Scholz said: “The real problem is that the AfD gets so much support – from voters who support the support extremist goals of the party, but also from those who actually find these goals wrong, but want to express their concerns or protest with their vote.” It must be about winning back these voters.