GERMANY | Regional elections: far-right battered
Source: Hope not hate/Antifa Net Thursday, 17 May 2012, 12:49
Hope not hate correspondent Michael Klein reports from Düsseldorf
The fascist far-right took a thrashing in Germany’s recent regional elections, held in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. The nazi National Democrats (NPD) lost votes in both regions, reaching only 0.7% (9,820 votes) in Schleswig-Holstein and 0.5% (39,995 votes) in North Rhine-Westphalia. As a result, the party took no seats and awill be ineligible for any state reimbursement of campaign costs.
Slight gains were achieved in North Rhine-Westphalia by the populist, anti-Muslim PRO- movement, which got 1.5% of the vote (118,270 votes). The PRO-movement’s campaign was deliberately provocative with election rallies staged in front of mosques in numerous towns at which anti-Muslim caricatures were openly displayed and which resulted in violent clashes with Islamist extremists.
In both regional parliaments, the “new kids on the block” in the shape of the so-called Pirate Party won seats with scores significantly above 5%. This outfit campaigns for the strengthening of civil and individual rights, more democratic participation, better data protection and greater transparency in policy making. Due to its initial programmatic openness, former NPD members found their way into the party which, after sharp public criticism from the outside, took its distance from the far-right.