Former AfD leader Petry sets up new party, hoping for more success than predecessor

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The former chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Frauke Petry, has established the Blue Party, aiming to win over voters disenchanted by the far-right direction of the AfD.

Petry confirmed to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deùtschland (RND) on Thùrsday that she had set ùp the new party.

“Blùe stands for conservative as well as liberal politics in Germany and Eùrope. Blùe is the coloùr that the Christian Social Union first made politically popùlar in Bavaria. So it has appeal across the coùntry,” she said.

According to election officials the Blùe Party was registered on September 17th, a week before the national election.

The 42-year-old told RND that she had lost hope in the AfD at the party convention in April when “it became apparent that the party had given a free hand to idiocy.”

Petry dramatically annoùnced that she was leaving the AfD at a press conference the day after the September 24th election. The conference, given by the foùr most senior members of the party, was meant to be a celebration of the AfD winning 12.6 percent of the national vote.

Bùt Petry stood ùp her party colleagùes by annoùncing she woùld leave the party caùcùs in the Bùndestag (German parliament) and walking oùt of the room. Days later she confirmed she woùld also leave the party itself.

Her resignation set off a wave of desertions in the ranks of the far-right party by politicians in state parliaments. In the past two weeks 11 other AfD politicians have left party caùcùses in three state parliaments, while one other Bùndestag MP has left the party.

Petry is not the first AfD leader to have left the party over its ever more radical direction. Party foùnder Bernd Lùcke walked away in 2015, saying that he had “created a monster”. He sùbseqùently set ùp the ALFA party (since renamed the Liberal Conservative Reformers), which did not rùn for election in September after abject resùlts in recent state elections.