The Bremen state election committee did not allow the AfD in the city of Bremen to take part in the state elections on May 14th. The committee rejected both submitted lists on Thursday. A decision on the AfD list in the separate electoral area of Bremerhaven should also be made on Thursday.
Due to a deep conflict in the AfD in the smallest federal state, admission to the state elections has long been in question. Two state executives have been arguing for the past year as to which of them is legitimate. They also submitted competing electoral lists for the city of Bremen, which is not legally permissible. A party may only submit one nomination.
One election proposal came from a so-called rump board around the state deputy Sergei Minich. The other suggestion came from a so-called emergency board led by parliamentarians Heinrich Löhmann and Frank Magnitz. In the past few weeks, the electoral committee in Bremen had rejected both lists as inadmissible double applications.
On the other hand, both party camps lodged a complaint. The superior state election committee came to the same conclusion, but based it on other legal grounds. He criticized the election proposal of the emergency board that the invitation to nominate the candidates was not in accordance with the rules. The rump board's legitimacy was called into question. This was disputed before AfD arbitration courts, a final clarification within the party had not taken place.
The decision of the State Electoral Committee is final. The losing side could only contest the result after the election. In the Bremen parliamentary elections in 2019, the AfD won five seats with 6.1 percent of the vote.
The conflict in Bremen also splits the governing bodies of the AfD in the federal government. The federal board has backed Minich, the Bremen state arbitration court and the federal arbitration court support the emergency board. In the smallest federal state, Bremen and Bremerhaven are separate elective areas. A five percent hurdle applies in both; anyone who skips it in one area may send deputies to the state parliament.