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Former AfD leader Petry sets up new party, hoping for more success than predecessor

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Former AfD leader Petry sets up new party, hoping for more success than predecessor
Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA
11:33 CEST+02:00
The former chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Frauke Petry, has established the Blue Party, aiming to win over voters disenchanted by the far-right direction of the AfD.

Petry confirmed to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) on Thursday that she had set up the new party.

“Blue stands for conservative as well as liberal politics in Germany and Europe. Blue is the colour that the Christian Social Union first made politically popular in Bavaria. So it has appeal across the country,” she said.

According to election officials the Blue Party was registered on September 17th, a week before the national election.

The 42-year-old told RND that she had lost hope in the AfD at the party convention in April when “it became apparent that the party had given a free hand to idiocy.”

Petry dramatically announced that she was leaving the AfD at a press conference the day after the September 24th election. The conference, given by the four most senior members of the party, was meant to be a celebration of the AfD winning 12.6 percent of the national vote.

But Petry stood up her party colleagues by announcing she would leave the party caucus in the Bundestag (German parliament) and walking out of the room. Days later she confirmed she would also leave the party itself.

Her resignation set off a wave of desertions in the ranks of the far-right party by politicians in state parliaments. In the past two weeks 11 other AfD politicians have left party caucuses in three state parliaments, while one other Bundestag MP has left the party.

Petry is not the first AfD leader to have left the party over its ever more radical direction. Party founder Bernd Lucke walked away in 2015, saying that he had “created a monster”. He subsequently set up the ALFA party (since renamed the Liberal Conservative Reformers), which did not run for election in September after abject results in recent state elections.

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