The Christian Democratic (CDU) Haseloff praised the reaction of politicians and the population of Köthen after the death of a 22-year-old German following a fight between two groups of men.
He did not believe that there would be a repeat of the chaos in Chemnitz, where large xenophobic riots followed the murder of a local man allegedly by asylum seekers, Haseloff said before meetings of the CDU's top bodies in Berlin.
Politicians and citizens reacted quickly, showing “a clear edge right from the start” and acted very responsibly, he said. In Köthen, locals made a makeshift memorial close with candles and flowers close to where the incident took place.
The young man had died on Saturday following an argument between two groups of men. According to police, the victim died of an acute heart failure, yet police said there is no direct connection to injuries suffered during the fight.
On Sunday evening, a judge issued an arrest warrant against two Afghans allegedly involved in the dispute on suspicion of bodily injury resulting in death.
Haseloff further emphasized that “the city of Köthen will be left to right-wing extremists who have not travelled there and who are trying to instrumentalize this issue for themselves”.
During the demonstrations on Sunday evening, he said it was noticeable how the right-wing extremists were networked nationwide and how quickly they could activate themselves. The networking also shows that right-wing radicalism is “not an East German issue,” said the minister president.
“Consequently, it is not a problem of a single city, a single country,” he said. “Rather, the entire nation is now challenged. Politicians must develop and implement clear proposals for solutions. Now the population expects us to function as a state under the rule of law.”
On Sunday evening, around 2500 people took part in a rally in Köthen, which right-wing groups had called for on social media networks.