A leader of the German populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party is under state protection after threats were made against her family, multiple news outlets in the country are reporting.
Alice Weidel, who heads up the party in Germany’s Federal Parliament, is said to have been escorted along with her family from their home by authorities last month.
“The weekend before last there was a security-related incident,” a spokesman for the AfD revealed on October 3.
“Ms Weidel and her family were taken from their private apartment to a safe place by security authorities because evidence had accumulated that pointed to an attack on her family.”
The German authorities have refused to comment on the matter.
Weidel is the latest politician in the party to be threatened with violence, with other members of the AfD regularly being subjected to intimidation as well as physical assault.
One of the most high-profile incidents involved Andreas Jurca, an election candidate for the party, who was badly beaten after a campaign event in Bavaria.
Andreas Jurca, a candidate for the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party in Bavaria, was brutally assaulted at a campaign event. https://t.co/Fygcg9ShZK
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 15, 2023
The reported threats against Weidel have had wider implications for her party activities. The senior politician was forced to drop out of a key political rally marking Germany’s Unity Day on October 3.
Held in the town of Mödlareuth, which had previously been split between East and West Germany, the AfD leader instead had to address her voters via a video message.
“I would like nothing more than to be with you today, but unfortunately I can’t,” she told attendees.
She went on to urge voters to rally behind the AfD ahead of the Bavarian state elections, which are due to take place on October 8.
The party is currently floating at around 14 per cent of the polls, behind the incumbent Christian Social Union (CSU) and Free Voters group.
The AfD is garnering even higher polling in other parts of Germany. The state election set to take place in Hesse on October 8 is predicted to see the party rise to become the joint second-largest political group in the region.
With the populist Alternative für Deutschland party garnering greater support, the former German Chancellor went on to instruct Germans to express their “criticism and anger in other ways”. https://t.co/QdS5Vl7QOZ
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 2, 2023