Neo-Nazi party uses dubious voter methods

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 March 2005, HAMBURG - The rightwing extremist NPD party has been observed resorting to dubious and possibly illegal methods to try to get candidates listed for the upcoming elections in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the weekly magazine 'Der Spiegel' reported. In its latest issue, the Hamburg-based magazine said the party has resorted to using professional door-to-door canvassers as well as seeking to recruit students for grassroots campaign work under misleading advertisements. The National Party

7 March 2005

HAMBURG - The rightwing extremist NPD party has been observed resorting to dubious and possibly illegal methods to try to get candidates listed for the upcoming elections in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the weekly magazine 'Der Spiegel' reported.

In its latest issue, the Hamburg-based magazine said the party has resorted to using professional door-to-door canvassers as well as seeking to recruit students for grassroots campaign work under misleading advertisements.

The National Party of Germany (NPD) is under particular focus after it won over 9 percent of the vote to gain entry into the parliament of the eastern German state of Saxony last year.

In elections in Schleswig-Holstein in February, the party managed only 2 percent of the vote, but this was double its previous showing.

The NPD made headlines in February in refusing to take part in ceremonies for the victims of Nazism and comparing the World War Two bombing of Dresden to the Holocaust.

'Der Spiegel' said that under the election rules requiring signatures of at least 100 eligible voters to get a candidate's name placed on the voting lists, the NPD has hired professional canvassers of the kind which usually go around selling magazine subscriptions.

In this case, the canvassers for the NPD were presenting themselves as carrying out a political survey while trying to get people's signatures on petitions backing an NPD candidate.

In particular, the canvassers were making a special effort to get sufficient backing for NPD leader Udo Voigt, the magazine said.

North Rhine-Westphalia state election commissioner Helga Block was cited as calling such methods as a deliberate attempt to mislead voters which could have legal consequences.
The report also said that college students in Munich in southern Germany had been recruited under false pretences by a hiring agency working on behalf of the NPD. The students were being offered part- time jobs for "opinion survey-like activity".

But once the students arrived in North Rhine-Westphalia, they were instructed that their real purpose was to collect signatures backing NPD candidates, the magazine said.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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