- Title: AfD supporters disappointed with result, but say party is here to stay
- Date: 26th September 2021
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 26, 2021) (REUTERS) ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AfD) DEPUTY PARTY HEAD BEATRIX VON STORCH AND AFD CO-LEADER, JOERG MEUTHEN AT ELECTION PARTY AFD PARLIAMENTARY FLOOR LEADER, ALEXANDER GAULAND GOING UP TO SPEAK (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFD PARLIAMENTARY FLOOR LEADER, ALEXANDER GAULAND, SAYING: "It is absolutely right that if these results do prove to be the case, then we are experiencing an earthquake in Germany, then Mrs. (Angela) Merkel has finally ruined my former party forever (applause) and this will have repercussions for our future work. I think that if Mr (Olaf) Scholz becomes chancellor then we have very good chances in the opposition. And the CDU will have no possibility other than to change and move away from the Merkel path. It has to become another party again and then there will be possibilities." SUPPORTERS CLAPPING (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFD PARLIAMENTARY FLOOR LEADER, ALEXANDER GAULAND, SAYING: "Despite our slightly weaker result I am happy that we, we have accomplished what we always wanted: Merkel is out. That was our task and we fulfilled it!" QUIET MOOD AT AFD ELECTION VENUE GAULAND LOOKING GLUM (SOUNDBITE) (German) NEUKOELLN AFD DELEGATE, JULIAN POTTHAST, SAYING: "We lost, and that is very clear and we lost a few points. I think as far as the government level goes we can be satisfied. The message that has been sent tonight is that the AfD is here to stay. Many young parties have the problem that they pretty quickly disappear from the German party landscape and I think that we have sent a strong signal that we will be represented in parliament again and so I am not that disappointed. We have consolidated ourselves and now you can't think of the political landscape without us in it and that is a success for us." VON STORCH IN CONVERSATION (SOUNDBITE) (German) NEUKOELLN AFD DELEGATE, JULIAN POTTHAST, SAYING: "One thing is clear, voters don't like parties where there is infighting and we must sort this out internally. But all in all, I think that if the results solidify like this and we get in with double figures, then we can be happy." VARIOUS OF MUTED AFD SUPPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFD DIRECT CANDIDATE FOR BERLIN MARZAHN-HELLERSDORF DISTRICT, MARIA ARLT, SAYING: "It would be sad if I didn't get in (for Berlin) but if that is what the voters decide then so be it. We are here, we are in parliament, we are in the house of representatives. It would have been nice if we would have got there with a stronger showing but we are there and we will change the way politics is done, just by the fact of being there." PEOPLE TALKING AROUND AFD TABLES (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFD DIRECT CANDIDATE FOR BERLIN MARZAHN-HELLERSDORF DISTRICT, MARIA ARLT, SAYING: "And that's why I think that we have to work harder to get a media presence that we come across more positively. And of course, it also has something to do with certain candidates who... but we are a party that is still a work in progress and we are evolving and I have faith that we will continue to evolve and get better results. We have patience, we have stamina and we are here to stay." AFD VENUE
- Embargoed: 10th October 2021 17:56
- Keywords: AfD Alexander Gauland Alice Weidel German election German election results Joerg Meuthen Tino Chrupalla
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWCUF5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Leaders of Alternative for Germany (AfD) put on a brave face after projected election results showed support for the far-right party dropping and said they rejoiced in seeing Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives slump to their worst-ever result.
The mood was subdued at a restaurant in Berlin where party leaders and a few dozen members had gathered after the party failed to improve on the 12.6% it secured four years ago, settling instead on 10-11%.
"Should this result stand this would mean that Mrs. Merkel has ruined my former party," said AfD honorary leader Alexander Gauland, who was a member of the outgoing chancellor's Christian Democrats (CDU) before joining the far-right party.
"Despite our relatively weaker result we have accomplished our mission: Merkel is out," added Gauland, drawing applause.
The AfD has been weakened by an internal power struggle between co-leader Joerg Meuthen who wants to purge the party of members with suspected links to neo-Nazi groups and a more nationalist camp that sees no need for action.
Its opposition to lockdowns and distancing rules during the pandemic has also put off voters, pollsters said before the election.
Exit polls showed the Social Democrats just edging out or virtually tied with the conservatives.
The AfD stormed into the national parliament for the first time in 2017 buoyed by voters angry with Merkel's 2015 decision to welcome almost one million asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa.
It is shunned by all mainstream political parties, which accuse it of fostering divisions through verbal attacks on Muslims and migrants. The AfD has denied harbouring racist views.
(Production: Tilman Blasshofer, Fanny Brodersen, Fedja Grulovic, Petra Wischgoll, Tanya Wood)
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