The leadership of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) voted on Friday (15 May) to expel Andreas Kalbitz, the head of the AfD in the Brandenburg state parliament, with seven in favour, five against and one abstention.
Along with controversial Thuringian AfD leader Björn Höcke, Kalbitz was a leader of the now-defunct ‘Wing,’ a loose grouping that represented some of the most extreme right views in the party. The group was disbanded at the end of April after an investigation by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Additional pressure also came from authorities over Kalbitz’ participation in the extreme right-wing milieu (Rechte Szene).
The official reason for Kalbitz’ removal stems from his earlier membership in extreme right and neo-Nazi organisations, which the AfD claims he did not reveal in his application to join the party.
Kalbitz was a member in the nationalist political party “The Republicans” in the mid-1990s, as well as the neo-Nazi organisation Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend (HDJ), which is on a list of groups which automatically bars membership in the AfD according to party rules.
In an interesting twist, German media outlets reported over the weekend that Kalbitz’ AfD membership application, which he submitted online in March 2013, has gone missing.