“The fight is only starting now”

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SBefore the official announcement of the first forecast, one of the organizers of the Brandenburg AFD election party leaves no doubt that it will be a good evening for his party. “Welcome you to this election party – to the winners of this election, whether or not we will be the strongest,” he says. That was the declared election goal of the party: to become the strongest force in Potsdam.

Tobias Schrörs

Shortly before the colorful bars appear on the screen at 6 pm, dozens of cameras and even more microphones are directed at Brandenburg's leading AfD candidate Andreas Kalbitz. At one of the bar tables, a man bends over to his neighbor and says: “If such a bunch of journalists runs aground, there must be something.” Shortly thereafter, the party members in the large, decorated with stucco hall on the Bismarckhöhe break in Werder on the Havel in frenetic jubilation.

The SPD is ahead, but the AfD has gained a lot. Kalbitz falls into the arms of his party friend Björn Höcke. Höcke is AfD chairman in Thuringia and is together with Kalbitz at the head of the right wing “wing” of the party. “Kalbitz, Kalbitz” chants the crowd. But he says: “It's not Kalbitz, it's the AfD.” The AfD had come to stay. What he says afterwards goes down in the cheers of the guests, who can hardly calm down. “We did an excellent job,” says Kalbitz. Even if, as he casually remarked, he wished himself the “icing on the cake”, he was the strongest force.

Also Höckes mood is not clouded on election night, as he in conversation with the F.A.Z. lets recognize. The fact that the AfD has not achieved its goal, he writes – like many in the AfD – the media, which have treated his party for a long time unfair. The Thuringian AfD chairman even tries historical categories. “This is a peaceful revolution at the ballot box that we witnessed tonight,” he says.

When Kalbitz made his way to Potsdam ten kilometers away, once again the organizer comes to the microphone, who has previously welcomed the guests. The sound of the ARD broadcast is turned off. Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) is being interviewed there. “I think we do not need to hear the man,” says the organizer. Instead, the people in the hall now hear him: “The election result is extremely cool and the buffet is open.” Then all go there too. At this time, just over half of the 330 invited guests are present.

Gauland: “We are the big bourgeois opposition”

Later it will be official again. Alexander Gauland, co-chair of the AFD, has come. This is a great success, says Gauland the guests on the Bismarckhöhe – and adds: “Yes, I admit that if we had become number one, it would be even more beautiful.” He draws from the AFD the image of a bourgeois party: ” We are the big bourgeois opposition in Brandenburg. “The CDU is over. Often he was asked for wings and the unity of the party, Gauland then says and explains that there is only one AfD, and hold together. “AfD, AfD”, the people are calling in the hall now. In an effort to create a moderate appearance for the party, Gauland finally asks the members to act reasonably in the “sway of victory”.

Celebrated by the AfD supporters in Brandenburg: top contender Andreas Kalbitz


Gauland regrets the controversial Brandenburg contender Andreas Kalbitz, who had to endure a lot. But for swastikas there is no evidence, he says in reference to a “Spiegel” article in which Kalbitz's participation in a far-right deployment in Athens in 2007 was reported, Accordingly, Kalbitz spent the night together with 13 other German right-wing extremists, including NPD boss Udo Voigt, in a hotel. The group should have hoisted a swastika flag on the balcony of the hotel. Kalbitz has admitted to the “Spiegel” to have been in Athens at the time. But he was not involved in the events in question, and he distanced himself from the march afterwards. He was “not disposed to” arouse my further interest or approval, either in the political objective or in the composition of the participants, “he told the” mirror “.

Satisfied with yourself

Unfortunately, he could not stay longer, says Gauland towards the end of his speech. “I still have to bother with Anne Will.” Before he leaves, he still has a message for the AfD supporters in the hall. The fight is not over. “The fight is just starting now.”

Soon it will be empty in the hall. Outside, satisfied campaigners stand by the beer on the terrace. At around 9 pm, the party honors Julia, Anna and Franz, who took care of the cotton wool and children's make-up during the election campaign. The comments and interviews of the television program, which was previously seen on the big screen, now triggers party music. This evening the AfD in Brandenburg is satisfied with itself.

(TagToTranslate) Andreas Kalbitz (t) Alexander Gauland (t) Björn Höcke (t) AfD (t) CDU (t) SPD (t) F.A.Z.

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