Fewer migrants and a burka ban: Germany's AfD releases manifesto

10.03.2017

The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) released a draft election manifesto on Thursday, with calls for "negative immigration" and a public ban on headscarves.

The AfD, which is currently polling at 8-11 percent ahead of September elections, is campaigning for "negative immigration of over 200,000 people per year," meaning that 200,000 more people of foreign descent would leave the country than arrive each year. The party also wants to stop family reunifications for refugees granted asylum in Germany, according to the draft.

The document, which party delegates must approve at a conference next month in Cologne, also lays out plans for a general ban on wearing headscarves in the public sector, with pupils also expected to remove the garment in schools.

Other policies include opposition to any efforts to enshrine abortion as a human right; Germany's exit from the eurozone currency union; and reinstating compulsory military service.

Founded in 2013, the party has morphed in recent years from an anti-euro movement into a staunchly anti-migration party. It repeatedly presents Islam as a threat to German culture. The 2017 elections are expected to provide a breakthrough result for the AfD, which until now had been unable to cross the 5-percent threshold required to enter the national parliament.    (dpa)

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