According to a media report, the right-wing populist AfD has apparently accepted an illegal major donation. The German party had 2017, the year of the general election in Germany, illegally received good 130,000 euros from a Swiss company, reported today the research network from NDR, WDR and „Süddeutsche Zeitung“ (Monday edition). The sum was therefore divided into several tranches of mostly 9,000 Swiss francs.
The money had flowed between July and September to the AfD district association Lake Constance, in which the current group leader Alice Weidel for the Bundestag took. As a donation purpose, the lender stated: „campaign donation Alice Weidel“.
This occupied bank statements, which the media could see according to their own information. Accordingly, the payments come from a stock corporation in Zurich, whose shares apparently belong to another AG.
Weidel: „Concern about the legality“
According to the report, the AfD itself now suspects that the donation was illegal. Weidel has stated on request that she first heard of the „uninvited“ donation in September 2017 and later advocated repayment. There were „concerns about legality“. The repayment was made according to the report but only in April 2018.
Weidel is now under pressure in its own ranks: The Baden-Württemberg AfD country chief Ralf Özkara told the research network: „Responsible for this major donation bear all who knew that such a donation has been received.“ Should Weidel have known carry her the „main responsibility“. If the donation is illegal, he expects that Weidel „withdraws from all offices and mandates“.
Ulrich Mueller of LobbyControl explained that the district association had to return the donations after party right immediately. Weidel should take responsibility and resign. For years, the AfD has benefited from millions of campaigning assistance, which is being handled by an agency in Switzerland. This agency has also supported individual AFD politicians such as Jörg Meuthen and Guido Reil directly with election campaigns.