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Probable repercussions for AfD officials: Over 1.6 million signatures – Petition “Stop Höcke” handed over

Approximately 1.67 million signatures for the deprivation of certain fundamental rights of Thuringia’s AfD chairman Björn Höcke were handed over to members of some parliamentary groups on Thursday. Indra Ghosh, who initiated an online petition on the Campact campaign network platform, presented the collected signatures and demands of the “Stop Höcke” action to Green parliamentary leader Britta Haßelmann in Berlin.

“Above all, I am pleased that there is movement in the country,” Haßelmann said on Thursday during the handover. It is a “tremendously encouraging signal” that civil society feels the dangers posed by right-wing extremism and knows that it now depends on each and every individual.

More than 1.6 million signatures – Petition “Stop Höcke” handed over

With more than 1,675,000 collected signatures, it is, according to the organizers, Germany’s largest online petition. The signature collection started on the Campact campaign network platform two months ago. However, the action gained momentum after the Potsdam meeting of radical right-wing activists and extremists with some AfD officials came to light.

The petition calls on the federal government and the Bundestag to submit an application for the forfeiture of fundamental rights pursuant to Article 18 of the Basic Law for the party and parliamentary leader of the Thuringian AfD, classified as right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The possibility of depriving fundamental rights is regulated in this article. Accordingly, fundamental rights can be forfeited if rights such as freedom of expression are “misused to combat the free democratic basic order.”

Application can only be submitted by federal or state governments

However, such an application can only be submitted by the Bundestag, the federal government, or a state government. The Federal Constitutional Court decides on the forfeiture and its extent. The court examines in a preliminary procedure whether the application is admissible and sufficiently justified. If this is affirmed, a preparatory oral hearing is scheduled for preliminary investigations and evidence collection.

Höcke “poses a serious threat to democracy, which is why his right to stand for election must be revoked,” the organizers demand. “It’s time for politics to act,” said Ghosh. The issue must be put on the political agenda.

A new state parliament will be elected in Thuringia on September 1. In polls, Höcke’s AfD is currently clearly in the lead. If Höcke loses fundamental rights under Article 18, he could also be deprived of his own right to vote and his own candidacy for the Thuringian election.

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