Deutsche Welle reports that former co-chief of German party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) Frauke Petry announced on October 13, the creation of a new political movement, called “the Blue Party”. Petry left her old party, where she helped achieve a remarkable electoral success in the latest German elections.
According to Reuters, her decision to abandon AfD was inspired by the party’s extreme positions. In spite of having demonstrated her opposition to immigration, Petry criticized other party members for their hardline views, which would render the party incapable of cooperating with a coalition government. She thus had a much more discrete role in the electoral campaign, and let more outspoken members, with more extreme views take the forefront of the campaign stage.
Petry told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND), that the new party will be targeting a larger audience. “Blue stands for conservative, but also liberal policies in Germany and in Europe,” she noted. Petry’s new party aims at attracting voters from the entirety of the political spectrum, and intends to replicate the success of Bavaria’s Christian-Social Union (CSU).
In spite of Petry’s willingness to differentiate herself from AfD, the influence of her old party is evident in the The Blue Party’s mission statement. Beliefs such as establishing controls of Germany’s borders, and deporting foreigners who commit crimes constitute part of Petry’s new party’s ideology.
It remains to be seen to what extent The Blue Party will be able to distance itself from the AfD, and replace it as a more moderate conservative voice in the German parliament.