Brandenburg MP Steffen Koniger is leaving the AfD. He cites reasons of conscience, but had also recently failed on his party’s European list.
Steffen Koniger no longer wants to be an AfD member Photo: dpa
AfD executive committee member Steffen Koniger has declared his resignation from the party. "The commoners in the AfD have finally lost the battle against the destructives in the party in many state associations," the Brandenburg state parliament member said Thursday. In the future, he wants to belong to the state parliamentary group as a non-attached deputy.
At the AfD’s last national party conference in mid-November, Koniger had applied for one of the top places on the AfD’s list of candidates for the European elections, but had failed against Baden-Wurttemberg MP Lars Patrick Berg.
In the AfD, the "enthusiasm about deliberate border crossings by a few protagonists is not diminishing," Koniger said, explaining his resignation. He said that many of the party’s functionaries were negligent in accepting the possibility of being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
As an example, Koniger cited the debate on how to deal with young party members. Some AfD members have spoken out in favor of stripping the Junge Alternative of its status as the party’s youth organization – others, including Thuringia’s state leader Bjorn Hocke, are opposed. Koniger’s own state association had also come out in front of its youth wing on Monday.
Koniger himself was one of the signatories of the Erfurt resolution initiated by Bjorn Hocke in 2015, with which the party right revolted against the moderate course of then party leader Bernd Lucke. A year ago, he caused a scandal at a national party conference of the AfD when he described the German education system as an "all-out war against the people of poets and thinkers.
Together with Guido Reil, also an associate member of the federal executive committee, Koniger pushed through the idea of a nationwide demonstration in Berlin within the AfD this year. The AfD was able to mobilize around 5,000 people for this in May, and at least 25,000 people protested against the march.