LEADER OF THE GERMAN RIGHTWING POPULIST PARTY FRAUKE PETRY “CONSIDERS STEPPING DOWN”
“It makes sense to consider and readjust your life from time to time. That’s the way I see it now after more than four years with the AfD, which has demanded an enormous amount of energy and forced me to wave goodbye to a normal life.”
Ms Petry’s surprise comments come after a turbulent start to 2017 for the AfD. The party, seen as the main threat to Angela Merkel for most of last year, has plummetted in the opinion polls.
Petry’s leadership has been rocked by infighting. Rivals on the extreme Right of the party have long wanted to force her out, while she has been locked in a struggle to expel Björn Höcke, a senior party figure who called in January for Germany to stop atoning for its Nazi past. At a recent party event Ms Petry was reduced to tears when she came under sustained attack from a party rival.
On this video, Petry announces her decision (German).