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Trump’s ‘Rigged’ Election BS Is Now Haunting the German Election

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This story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.

BURGSTÄDT, Germany—Björn Höcke, an influential state-level leader for the far-right party Alternative für Deutschland, took the stage at a campaign event in the small city of Burgstädt in Saxony ahead of this weekend’s election. He began his speech with the kind of universal appeal politicians often make in the final weeks of a campaign, encouraging supporters to go out and vote.

But Höcke—head of a radical faction within the AfD known simply as “the Wing” and a man who once described Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial as a “monument of shame” — did not stop there. Not only should the faithful cast their ballots for the party, he said, they should make sure to do it in person and not by mail, which, he alleged, is vulnerable to fraud and manipulation. “Anyone who has an interest in fair elections and secret elections should go to their polling place,” he explained.

Germany heads to the polls this Sunday in an unusually open and unpredictable general election that could determine the country’s direction for decades to follow. For the first time in 16 years, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has helmed the country since 2005, is not standing again.

The three candidates—Armin Laschet, from Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, Olaf Scholz from the center-left Social Democrats and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens—are locked in a volatile race for the nation’s highest office. In the final days of the campaign, Scholz’s SPD is in the lead with 25 per cent, followed closely by Laschet’s CDU. The Greens, however, have recently fallen behind.

Parties that advocate for postal voting, Höcke continued—including the Greens and the SPD—were essentially condoning voter fraud. He then brought up the example of an unproven story making the rounds this year about a young Green supporter allegedly casting their........

© The Daily Beast

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