Germany’s Constitutional Court Rejects Ban of Far-Right Neo-Nazi Party
Jan 18, 2017 11:07 AM EST
After years of debate, the highest court of Germany has made its decision to reject a proposal which attempts to ban the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), which is the country's oldest far-right political organization. The court finds that it did not pose a danger to democracy even though its principles violates the Constitution.
The political group which has been described as anti-Semitic and racist intends to replace the current constitutional system by promoting an authoritarian national state which adheres to the idea of a people's community. Although the court's judgment states that the political concept behind NPD disrespects human dignity and is incompatible with the principle of democracy, there is lack of sufficient grounds and weighty indications which will render the political party successful in its endeavors.
Back in 2013, Germany's 16 states submitted a petition to ban the party citing the same grounds but the law that allows a party to be banned is based not on sympathies or worldviews rather on evidence of specific threat to the Constitution, said Andreas Vosskuhle, the president of the court. Likewise, a 2003 attempt to ban the National Democratic Party also failed. Germany has strict laws on banning political parties and so far only two have been outlawed since the defeat of the Nazis at the end of World War II.
Founded in 1964, the NPD is visible in Germany due to its frequent political rallies, where Nazi symbols and actions were seen, The Huffington Post reports. However, the political party actually has little influence and continues to lose its popularity with some of its members switching to Alternative for Germany. The party holds a single seat in the European Parliament in German Bundestag, winning 1.3 percent of the vote last 2013 national elections. Further, it has lost its last seats in state legislatures in September. Due to this, the court ruled that NPD's situation has made the achievement of its aims impossible adding the improbability of its members winning elections.
Accordingly, the political party celebrated the ruling with Frank Franz, its leader, posting on their Facebook page, "Two-time winner against an attempt to be outlawed." Nevertheless, the ruling also gained criticism especially from Jewish groups which expressed disappointment and dismay over the court's verdict.