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Leif-Erik Holm of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) populist party waves after election results gave his party 21.5 percent of the vote in state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The political realignment raised concerns of a hard lurch to the right in Germany, but Pazderski brushed off questions that the party represents a turn toward divisive politics.
“This is a misunderstanding. Our party is not really right wing,” he said.
“This is a typical behavior of our parties that we have in the Bundestag. If you want to stigmatize a party, then you put out the Nazi wording and say these are Nazi, these are ‘right-wing’ don’t vote for them because of our history,” he said.
He added that “we will show the Bundestag that we are a normal conservative-liberal party and we will really make, or we try to make to bring good politics so that we are bringing those topics to discussion that are necessary to be discussed.”
Despite Pazderski’s denials, the party has built its political manifesto on traditional values and appeals to voters with a nostalgic view of the country. Its key election themes have been anti-immigration, promoting family values, internal security, leaving the euro and promoting German culture.
While its website features pictures of German towns and cities with the slogan: “It’s about us, our culture, our home, our Germany,” the party has used more explicit and controversial slogans and posters too, including those proclaiming “Get your country back!” Others have called for “bikinis instead of burkas” referring to the full-body covering some Muslim’s wear, and “Islam does not fit our kitchen” on a poster depicting a piglet, referring to Islam’s dietary prohibition of pork.
Other posters showed groups of silhouetted migrants with the slogan “The Germans will not finance a better life for you.” Another shows a pregnant woman with the slogan “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves.”
—CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt and Matt Clinch contributed to this article.