Members of the Bundestag of the other parliamentary group have sharply condemned disruptive actions by guests of the AfD parliamentary group in the parliament building. The incidents on Wednesday are an “attack on the free mandate” and on parliamentary democracy, said the parliamentary manager of the Union faction, Michael Grosse-Brömer (CDU) in the Bundestag on Friday. This is the previous “low point of a lasting strategy of the AfD in this house.”
During the Bundestag debate on the reform of the Infection Protection Act, delegates were harassed, filmed and insulted by visitors in the hallways of the Reichstag building on Wednesday. This happened, among others, Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) and the FDP domestic politician Konstantin Kuhle.
A security report by the Bundestag police shows that the four visitors were invited by the three AfD MPs Udo Hemmelgarn, Petr Bystron and Hansjörg Müller on the day of the debate on the new health protection law.
Politicians were “massively harassed, aggressively filmed and, so the recordings suggest, badly insulted,” said Grosse-Brömer. He accused the AfD of having “smuggled in” the troublemakers. The Bundestag police and possibly also the public prosecutor would examine the further course of action.
SPD parliamentary group vice-president Dirk Wiese also said that the incidents would be examined under regulatory and criminal law. “What we saw this week was not an isolated incident that happened by chance,” he said. Rather, the appearance of the troublemakers “fits into the system as the AfD appears here in the Bundestag.”
The parliamentary manager of the FDP parliamentary group, Marco Buschmann, said that the “troublemakers” wanted to create “a climate of oppression and threats”. He was also convinced that the AfD knew in advance what the interferers were up to. “Do not believe that we will put up with it,” said Buschmann to the AfD MPs.
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He announced that the other groups would “use all existing legal instruments”. If that is not enough, “we will expand it”.
Gauland rejected all allegations
“The democratic society must protect our country from the AfD,” said Left MP Petra Pau. She renewed the criticism expressed by many MPs about the use of the term “Enabling Act” for the new Infection Protection Act, including by the AfD. This rhetoric “plays down fascism and mocks its victims,” warned Pau, who is also Bundestag Vice President.
AfD parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland rejected all allegations. The behavior of the interferers was “uncivilized” “and should not be considered. I apologize for that.” The AfD parliamentary group should have “supervised these visitors”. However, the allegation that his parliamentary group knew in advance of the interferer’s plans is “infamous”.
The Green Parliament Secretary Britta Haßelmann rejected Gauland’s representations. “The MPs of the AfD knew exactly who they were inviting and they knew what their intention was,” said Haßelmann. “These people were not invited for the first time.”
The fact that the troublemakers wanted to prevent the MPs from exercising their free mandate was a “serious incident” and a “taboo break”, judged Haßelmann. Nevertheless, the troublemakers, like the AfD, ultimately failed because the parliament was still able to work. “We will protect parliament from these destructive and anti-parliamentary attacks,” assured Haßelmann. (dpa, AFP)