Top German court backs far-right party over Merkel comments

Jun 14, 2022, 2:21 PM | Updated: Jun 15, 2022, 2:46 am

FILE - German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on during the first plenary session of the German parl...

FILE - German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on during the first plenary session of the German parliament Bundestag after the elections, Berlin, Oct. 26, 2021. Germany's highest court has backed the far-right party Alternative for Germany, AFD, complaint against comments by then-Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2020 that the election of a state governor with the party's support was 'nexcusable' and must not be allowed to stand. Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s highest court on Wednesday backed a far-right party’s complaint against former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments that the election of a state governor with the party’s support was “inexcusable” and must not be allowed to stand.

The Federal Constitutional Court found that the comments, made by the then-chancellor in 2020, violated Alternative for Germany’s right to equality of opportunities.

Merkel’s comments during an official visit to South Africa and later posted on her and the government’s websites, came a day after the surprise election of Thomas Kemmerich, a member of the pro-business Free Democrats, as governor of the eastern state of Thuringia.

Kemmerich narrowly defeated a left-wing incumbent after Alternative for Germany representatives in the state legislature voted for him instead of AfD’s own candidate.

His election was a major embarrassment for Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union, which also had backed Kemmerich.

Merkel vented her displeasure during a news conference in South Africa, saying that Kemmerich’s election “broke with a fundamental conviction for the CDU, and for me, too, that no majorities should be won with help from AfD.”

Later the same day, Kemmerich announced that he planned to step down.

The German supreme court found that Merkel had “negatively qualified” AfD in an official capacity and so “influenced the competition of political parties in a one-sided way.” The court further held that the government used resources that only it has in publishing the comments on its websites.

There was some dissent to the decision, which judges made by a 5-3 majority. The ruling doesn’t have direct consequences for Merkel.

AfD previously took similar action. In 2020, the top court ruled that Germany’s then-interior minister violated the party’s rights by posting on his ministry’s website an interview in which he criticized its behavior as “undermining the state.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Missing Mount Rainier climber’s body found in crevasse; he was celebrating 80th birthday

Search crews on Mount Rainier have found the body of a man matching the description of an 80-year-old solo climber reported missing

13 hours ago

Washington gun restrictions...

Associated Press

Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles

2 days ago

FILE - A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference, April 28, 2015,...

Associated Press

Microsoft will pay $20M to settle U.S. charges of illegally collecting children’s data

Microsoft will pay a fine of $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally collected and retained the data of children

2 days ago

FILE - OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman gestures while speaking at University College London as part of his ...

Associated Press

OpenAI boss ‘heartened’ by talks with world leaders over will to contain AI risks

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said Monday he was encouraged by a desire shown by world leaders to contain any risks posed by the artificial intelligence technology his company and others are developing.

3 days ago

FILE - The draft of a bill that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., neg...

Associated Press

Debt deal imposes new work requirements for food aid and that frustrates many Democrats

Democrats are deeply conflicted about the debt ceiling deal, fearing damage has been done to safety net programs

4 days ago

Seattle lawyer...

Associated Press

Lawsuit alleging ex-deputy falsified arrest report settled for $250K

A lawsuit filed by a Washington oyster farmer accusing a former county deputy of falsifying an arrest report

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

Top German court backs far-right party over Merkel comments