The far right alternative for Germany (AfD) has chosen a new leadership after its triumphant participation in the September general elections, which caused hundreds of people to hold street protests against the anti-immigrant and anti-Islam party .
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The AfD received almost 13 percent of the votes and almost 100 seats in parliament, a turning point in post-war German politics that Chancellor Angela Merkel was the winner. still struggling to form a ruling coalition.
However, the AfD was divided between radical nationalists and more moderate forces, with co-leader Frauke Petry abruptly resigning a few days after the election to form his own dissident party.
The party Acting leader Jorg Meuthen, seen as a relative moderate in the movement, won enough votes to maintain his position, but in a vote that lasted until evening, Alexander Gauland joined as a co-leader to replace to Petry.
Gauland, who once defended an AfD member who had said that history should be rewritten to focus on the German victims of World War II, co-directed the party until 2015.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters staged ins to block roads to the downtown area, delaying the start of Congress in about 50 minutes, until the police deployed water cannons to expel anti-fascist and pro-refugee activists.
Launched as a Europarty anti-populist in 2013, the AfD has abruptly veered to the right ever since and campaigned for the September elections with slogans such as "Bikinis Not Burqas", "Stop Islamization" and "Merkel must leave" .
He is now represented in 14 of the 16 state parliaments in Germany, but has been rejected as a potential partner at the national level by the main parties.
The fractured political landscape has made it more difficult than ever for Merkel, in power for 12 years, to improvise a major failure. Now he is trying to lure the center-left Social Democrats back into a "grand coalition" government of right and left.
If successful and avoid quick elections, the AfD would become Germany's biggest opposition power, strongly boosting its profile.