The regional association of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Saxony has been classified as a right-wing extremist organization, the state's Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV) announced Friday.
After Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt, the AfD in Saxony is the third state association to be given the designation.
"There is no longer any doubt about the right-wing extremist orientation of the AfD Saxony," said Dirk-Martin Christian, president of the LfV, the state's domestic intelligence agency.
In the 2019 state elections, the AfD received 27.5% of the vote.
A recent opinion poll put support for the party at 33%, about the same as the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
AfD pursues 'anti-constitutional objectives'
The Saxony branch of the AfD had been under observation by state authorities for four years.
During that period, "a large number of statements and political demands," in particular from senior functionaries and elected representatives of the party were collected, Christian said.
Taken together, these prove "undoubtedly that the AfD state association is pursuing anti-constitutional objectives."
He added that the party represents "typical nationalist positions" and "continually stirs up fears and resentment against foreigners."
Saxony's AfD state and parliamentary group leader Jörg Urban criticized the decision, saying it lacked "any factual basis," and was backed by "purely electoral motives" in the lead-up to state elections next September.
dh/nm (dpa, AFP, epd)
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