Artists prank German far-right, wasting millions of flyers before election
Daniel Harries
Co-leader and top candidate of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Tino Chrupalla. /John Macdougall/Pool via REUTERS

Co-leader and top candidate of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Tino Chrupalla. /John Macdougall/Pool via REUTERS


An art collective posing as a delivery service duped the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) to give them a contract to distribute millions of flyers, only to return the leaflets to the party's office two days before Sunday's election. 

The AfD, which got 10.3 percent of the vote, stated before the elections that the "fraudulent operation" appeared to have been carried out by members of a Berlin-based art group called the Centre for Political Beauty (ZPS).



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"The flyers are now useless for our campaign," AfD co-leader Tino Chrupalla said ahead of the vote. "This is precisely the goal of those behind this operation. They are trying to intentionally harm the AfD in the election."

In response, the collective explained: "We adhered to the corona recommendations of the federal government: 'We were lazy like raccoons and did absolutely nothing,'" according to German media, referring to a government commercial during the pandemic that called for people to stay at home. 

According to ZPS, the AfD had delivered some 5 million flyers to the "ZPS logistics chain," which said the material arrived without "an order confirmation or a legally valid contract." 

The group stated that its service was unable to deliver the leaflets as "the terms and conditions of the service provider expressly exclude the distribution of 'propaganda and false statements as well as advertising materials of political parties.'"

The AfD has already announced it intends to make a criminal complaint, while Chrupalla spoke of a "massive interference in the democratic election campaign."

The party entered the Bundestag in 2017, achieving 12.6 percent of the vote. Despite the decline in 2021, the AfD emerged on Sunday as the largest party in the states of Saxony and Thuringia, reaffirming its support in Germany's east. 

Sunday's results will likely see Germany governed by a coalition. However, all major political parties have ruled out working with the AfD due to its extremely right-wing political positions. 

​​In 2021, German media reported that the country's domestic intelligence agency (Bundesverfassungsschutz) had placed the whole AfD under surveillance as a "suspected extremist group." The party has consistently denied holding extremist views.

Source(s): Reuters

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