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UKIP’s interim leader has congratulated the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party for winning seats in Germany’s parliament on Sunday.
In a statement on UKIP’s website, Steve Crowther hailed the election result as “a brave move in Germany, whose politics has been overshadowed by the Nazi era.”
He also said it “shows that the people are no longer prepared to be ignored and coerced by the liberal left.”
The nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-same-sex marriage, and anti-euro party won about 13% of the vote, finishing in third place. It marked the first time a far-right party has sat in the Bundestag since the collapse of the Nazi party 72 years ago.
Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party won the most seats, finishing first with about 33% of the vote – down from 41.5% in 2013. As of Monday morning, it’s not clear how many seats all parties will take in parliament.
- Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Alexander Gauland, one of AfD’s leading candidates, vowed to “hunt Frau Merkel” and “reclaim our country and our people,” while celebrating the party’s victory with his co-leader Alice Weidel on Sunday night, according to Politico. AfD’s victory was also met by massive protests in Berlin.
Here’s Crowther’s statement in full:
“Like UKIP, the AfD offers a balancing force within its national politics which has been skewed towards the centre-left consensus. This is a brave move in Germany, whose politics has been overshadowed by the Nazi era. It shows that the people are no longer prepared to be ignored and coerced by the liberal left.
“It is telling that the AfD vote comes from all age groups, is driven by former non-voters as well as disillusioned conservative and left voters, and comes largely from the employed and unemployed working class.
“Once again, the elites are learning that democracy actually means listening to the majority, no matter how much they despise their vulgar attitudes.”
UKIP has also invited an unnamed senior AfD member to its party conference on Friday and Saturday, according to a press statement sent to Business Insider.
Nigel Farage, UKIP’s former leader, also campaigned for AfD earlier this month. He was so impressed with the party that he accepted its invitation to speak at the rally “without hesitation,” AfD MEP Beatrix von Storch said.