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German far-right AfD eyes success in EU parliamentary elections 2019

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-12-22 21:14
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An election campaign poster of the far right political party "Alternative fuer Deutschland" (AfD) in Munich, Germany, Oct 9, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

BERLIN - The far-right and Eurosceptic party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) hopes to win more seats in the European Union parliamentary elections next year, a high-ranking AfD member told Xinhua.

Petr Bystron, a member of the Bundestag, the German parliament, from the AfD, and senior AfD lawmaker on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, told Xinhua on Friday that the EU parliamentary elections in 2019 will be a landslide for the new conservative and Eurosceptic parties.

"We expect to double our results as AfD. The EFDD, the faction we belong to in the European Parliament, will emerge much stronger with powerful allies like UKIP (UK Independence Party) and the Five Star Movement," said Bystron.

The party won 7 seats out of the total 750 in European Parliament in 2014, one year after AfD was founded. The Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), the populist Eurosceptic political group, holds a total of 43 seats in European Parliament.

Gaining momentum from the European Refugee Crisis and by opposing the European Integration, the AfD in the past years has become the third largest party in German Bundestag in 2017.

About 400 million eligible EU citizens in 27 member states, without Britain, can take part in the European parliamentary elections from May 23 to 26, 2019.

The right-wing populist and Eurosceptic politics have become much stronger in the past years, not only AfD but also the Five Star Movement in Italy.

Therefore, the European parliamentary elections 2019 after the Brexit are of great significance because it is widely estimated that the political group will win more seats, thus cast doubts over the future of the European integration.

Bystron said the Eurosceptics are currently split into three factions, the EFDD, the Europe for Nations and Freedom (ENF) and European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

"We hope to combine as many of these parties as possible into a strong, conservative, Eurosceptic group that will be able to exert real power in Brussels," said Bystron.

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