After Andreas Kalbitz was kicked out, the AfD faction in Brandenburg has chosen a successor. The head of the constitution protection also considers this a “proven right-wing extremist”.

Two months after Andreas Kalbitz’s resignation, the Brandenburg AfD faction elected Hans-Christoph Berndt as its new chairman, as the group announced. Berndt succeeds Kalbitz, who resigned after being expelled from the party in August. The board of the party revoked Kalbitz’s membership in May on the grounds that contacts with the extreme right-wing milieu allegedly were hidden.

Deputy group chairman Birgit Bessin, parliamentary director Dennis Hohloch and AfD member of the state parliament Hans-Christoph Berndt had applied for chairmanship in a fighting vote.

Kalbitz failed in court with a request for deportation

Berndt is the head of the “Zukunft Heimat” association, which has been classified as right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Berndt was also a “proven right-wing extremist,” said Jörg Müller, the head of the constitutional protection department. Müller also called Kalbitz a “proven right-wing extremist.”

The AfD’s federal executive had revoked Kalbitz’s membership in May for allegedly hiding previous memberships with the far-right homelike German youth (HDJ) and the Republicans when he was hired. In August he failed to file an urgent request against the deportation at the regional court of Berlin. Shortly before, Kalbitz had withdrawn from the political group chairmanship, which he initially wanted to leave alone pending the court ruling.

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