Dec 192013
 

NPD leader resigns in shock move

Holger Apfel, the leader of Germany’s right-wing extremist National Democratic Party (NPD), resigns, citing health reasons. He also steps down as head of the party’s caucus in the Saxonian state parliament.

Apfel’s move adds to the party’s many woes: The NPD is very nearly bankrupt as a result of financial irregularities. Moreover, the party’s constitutionality is currently being investigated by the Federal Constitutional Court. These proceedings could result in a ban of the NPD.

bumsfaldera!
daklebtwat / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Following an acrimonious leadership contest, Apfel became party leader just over two years ago in November 2011. His main strategic aim was to slightly tone down the party’s radical ambitions in a bid to make it more acceptable to conservative voters. In this respect, he was not in any way successful.

Why, and why now?

Apparently, the party and its leadership were taken completely by surprise. Within minutes, it was leaked that Apfel suffers from ‘burn out’, which could boil down to ‘too much interaction with dear comrades’. [It is up to the reader to insert a silly pun on the NPD’s obsession with “the Leader”/their leadership troubles at this point]

Apfel’s predecessor Udo Voigt, who was leader from 1996 until 2011 and then grudgingly became Apfel’s deputy, has certainly made life miserable for Apfel during the last two years. Also within minutes, Voigt has declared that he was ready to take the helm once more ‘under certain conditions’.

But citing health reasons and stepping down is not the way things are done in the NPD. And while infighting is common enough within the NPD’s national leadership, it seems odd that Apfel should also give up his position in Saxony, which is his power base, unless he is really seriously ill. Therefore, fellow anoraks and conspiracy theorists will contemplate another explanation: That Apfel could have been one of those informers (paid by the government’s many secret services) whose involvement with the leadership led to the collapse of the first bid to ban the NPD back in 2002.

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  5 Responses to “Leader of German “National Democrats” (NPD) Resigns”

  1. […] NPD ended 2013 with a veritable Christmas Panto. On December 19, Holger Apfel, who had become party leader in 2011, stepped down from this and other party offices ci…r (and many others). On December 22, the party’s highest decision making body appointed Udo […]

  2. RT @kai_arzheimer: #Germany’s right-wing extremist #NPD loses its leader. Stay tuned for acrimonious succession battle http://t.co/oFQusOXI…

  3. #Germany’s right-wing extremist #NPD loses its leader. Stay tuned for acrimonious succession battle http://t.co/oFQusOXIM6

  4. @macklin_gd The “who wants to be captain on the good ship Titanic” question. My money is on Voigt: http://t.co/9N9lm9Zh7y

  5. Holger #Apfel, leader of #Germany’s right-wing extremist #NPD party, resigns in shock move http://t.co/WrXQFAZIbS

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