Top German court refuses to outlaw far-right NDP party

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court said in its ruling the NDP does not have enough support to pose a real threat to the country's democracy.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NDP) party members pose in front of the Constitutional Court after the verdict on the attempt by the country's 16 federal states to ban the far-right NPD in Karlsruhe, Germany, January 17, 2017.

Updated Jan 18, 2017

Germany's highest court has rejected an appeal to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NDP).

The NDP has about five thousand members and has been accused of having neo-Nazi links. The case was brought by the country's 16 federal states.

While announcing its ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court said on Tuesday the party's aims violated the constitution, however, it does not have enough support to pose a real threat to the country's democracy. 

Several senior NDP figures have been convicted of Holocaust denial or incitement but the party denies any involvement in violence.

Some politicians argue that allowing the fringe NDP to exist would legitimise it and send a signal that its right-wing views are acceptable. Others say a ban could be counterproductive and push its members underground.

Only two parties have been banned since World War ll – the Socialist Reich Party, a successor to Hitler's Nazis, in 1952, and the Communist Party in 1956 in West Germany.

TRT World  has more details.

TRTWorld and agencies