“Free and conservative” and blue all over — former co-leader of the Alternative for Germany Frauke Petry publically announced the founding of her new “Blue party” in a newspaper interview and is set to officially kick it off on Friday.The former co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) left the party she helped build up just days after it garnered 12.6 percent Germany’s general election in late September. Read more: Frauke Petry, former AfD leader, eyes separate political group
In an interview with newspaper group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) published late on Thursday night, Petry said the new conservative party would appeal to a large number of people in Germany.
“Blue stands for conservative, but also liberal policies in Germany and in Europe,” Petry told RND.
The “Blue party” is hoping to snatch voters across the political spectrum, from those who voted for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the far-right AfD.
“Nearly every third German would like to opt for a reasonable, conservative political offering,” Petry said. “Many of them voted out of desperation for the FDP, AfD or even once more for Merkel.”
The 42-year-old chemist also noted that the color blue helped build the popularity of Bavaria’s Merkel-allied Christian Social Union (CSU) — a party whose political successes she hopes to replicate.
Party founded before election
In the RND interview, Petry said that after the AfD’s party congress in Cologne in April, she realized that she wanted to leave the party after September’s election. During the party congress, AfD members refused to accept Petry’s slightly more moderate proposals.
German media reported on Thursday that the “Blue party” was registered ahead of federal elections on September 17 by one of Petry’s advisors.
Petry dismissed her oft-critiqued decision to keep her parliament seat even though she won it on the AfD ticket.
“The mandate doesn’t belong to the party, even if it was won with party funds,” she said, adding that she would remain loyal to her voters.
Read more: German prosecutors press charges against ex-AfD head Frauke Petry for perjury AfD influence strong in Blue platform
When Petry quit the AfD, she criticized other leading party figures for their extreme views, particularly when it comes to their position on Muslims in Germany, but has voiced her own anti-immigrant views for years.
Despite her efforts to distance herself from her former party, the “Blue party’s” fledgling manifesto appears to have borrowed heavily from the AfD playbook.
Like the AfD, Petry’s Blue party wants to install controls on all of Germany’s borders and wantsto deport foreigners who commit crimes or are flagged as potentially dangerous to be deported “without exception.”
The party also wants to restrict the right to asylum and rejects dual passports as an “integration hurdle.”
Regarding the Muslim faith, the party manifesto states that “political Islam” opposes German values, rather than the AfD’s more blanket statement that “Islam does not belong to Germany.”
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