The German Federal Constitutional Court is holding hearings on the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) and is expected to prosecute the movement. If the Court opts to prosecute the party, NPD could be outlawed.
There are only two 60-year old precedents in outlawing a party in Germany: the nazi-inspired Socialist Reichspartei in 1952 and the KPD (Communist Party of Germany) in 1956.
The hearings that will take place in March will allow the Court to probe the case made against NPD and examine the quality of the evidence. The request for the probe of the NPD was made by the Federal Assembly (Bundestag). Germany’s upper house suggests that NPD constitutes a danger to German democracy. Among those taking part in the hearings are five German state premiers.
This is the second time since 2003 that the Assembly is asking for the prohibition of the far-right party. The first probe in 2003 failed not least because the movement had been infiltrated by secret services (BfV) at the highest level and the defense argued that it was these officers that were largely responsible for the NPD’s extremist image.
NPD was founded in 1964 and fared 1,3% in the legislative elections of 2013 and its Chairman, Udo Voigt, is a Member of the European Parliament. NPD is known for its anti-immigrant rhetoric.
(DW, Reuters, AFP, Der Spiegel)