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Politics – Rwanda, Vandalism, Violence – Germany's Rough Election Campaign News

Saturday, September 9th, 2017 | Economy

But not only Merkel has to suffer from it. For systematic disturbances, vandalism and in individual cases, violence is also the order of the day – and personal protection for, for example, Turkish-born politicians such as the Green Censoring Cem Özdemir has been strengthened for weeks because of the conflict with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Landeskriminalamt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, for example, has co-ordinated 74 crimes related to the election campaign by 5 September. In most cases it is the damage or the theft of electoral placards – a phenomenon that has already been increasing in the 2016 parliamentary election. According to police statistics more than 40 per cent of the injured election cards of AfD and NPD are reported – but they also report frequent destruction as other parties. "That fits the victim image that both parties like to give", says the Union.
Other parties are also severely affected: "The number of destroyed posters has significantly increased compared to earlier Bundestag election campaigns, about one-fifth of the suspended posters," says Linkspartei spokesman Hendrik Thalheim to Reuters. "In the case of large-area posters, the reserve is now no longer sufficient to replace the destroyed posters. Small posters are partly suspended by road." In addition to this, fire attacks occurred: In August, two vehicles of the SPD Bundestag deputy Michelle Müntefering burned in Herne.
The legal-foreign parties AfD and NPD, on the other hand, systematically interfere with Merkel's electoral events. Especially in East Germany, the chancellor's appearances are whistled, and slogans like "Hau ab" are shouted. Sturgeons are also bored with buses from other areas as in Torgau. According to observers, both AfD, NPD, and the so-called "Identitätser Bewegung" or followers of the anti-refugee movements such as Pegida or the thuringian Thügida occur.
Merkel the "hate figure of the right-wing radicals"
It is not always the case with verbal aggressiveness: in the Thuringian Vacha a supporter of the Young Union was beaten on the edge of a Merkel appearance. In Finsterwalde was reported according to media reports against two men who showed the Hitlergruß on the edge of the Merkel appearance. In addition, two beating men were arrested at short notice.
"Disruptions of the rallies of the left are not so serious," says the spokesman for the AfD, "which seems to be the focus of Merkel. Even CDU events without the chancellor are usually left alone. For Forsa boss Manfred Güllner, this is hardly surprising: "Merkel is because of the refugee policy the hate figure of the right-wing radicals," he told Reuters. "Right-wing groups are mobilizing their supporters with such campaigns in Merkel appearances, which are shared in their own groups in social networks." At the same time, the election campaign in the East is generally quiet – as is the case with a Merkel appearance in Greifswald. And in the big German cities such as Bremen, right-wing populists do not dare anyway.
On Thursday the AfD distanced itself from the groups: "The disturbance of events by democratic parties is not a good style and should be omitted," Afd spokesman Christian Lüth on request. "We do not organize any systematic disturbances." He pointed out, however, that AfD events were "regularly disturbed by sometimes even violent protests". The AfD has nothing to do with the NPD and the identity movement. Ask what happens in the remaining 18 days of the election campaign. In the Union, there was a long-term expectation that radical right-wing groups could be even more aggressive in attracting attention – the tomato litter in Heidelberg could have been a hint.
All warn against exaggeration
Merkel himself wants to use the hate shown for himself and the mobilization of the Union: "You can feel it here on this square, it will arrive on September 24th," she said to her supporters also in Torgau after she spoke unreservedly of the Noise. The rogue of the mostly male impostors make it clear to everyone where you stand, it is called internally. The CDU-Granden has at any rate thrown Merkel to consciously also in the east to the AfD there not the field to leave.
"Many people who do not follow the whistle-talkers and the chorus-choirs are encouraged to show more civil courage and to face hatred," she said in the interview with the editorial network Deutschland (RND). Do not provoke, is the supreme motto. "Merkel will not damage the protests in any case – maybe even use them," says Forsa CEO Güllner.
For the rest, however, all warn against exaggeration. Elections were also accompanied by mutual disturbances. And a spokeswoman for the Landeskriminalamt in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern points out that the level of vandalism is currently at the level of 2013 – but below the figures of the heated parliamentary election 2016.
(Reuters)

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