May 2, 2017 / 3:34 PM / a year ago

German far right asks monitor to ensure it gets fair election

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s main far-right party has asked an election monitor to ensure it gets fair treatment in September’s federal election, saying that civil society groups had tried to sabotage its campaigns in the past.

FILE PHOTO: Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD), and AfD leader Joerg Meuthen sing at the end of the second day of the AfD congress in Stuttgart, Germany, May 1, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

In a letter to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), Alternative for Germany (AfD) said its posters had been defaced, supporters put off attending events due to protests, hotels threatened for renting rooms to the party, and activists attacked, all “severe constraints” on its campaigning

“We have reason to worry that we will not be guaranteed unrestricted participation in the election campaign in a fair way,” AfD co-leaders Frauke Petry and Joerg Meuthen wrote in the letter dated April 28 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday,

The anti-immigrant party polls at between 7 and 10 percent - comfortably above the 5 percent threshold needed to enter parliament. But many Germans despise it and some 15,000 people protested outside its party congress in April.

The OSCE monitored Germany’s last federal election in 2013 and the government has already asked it to do the same this time.

Reporting by Hans-Edzard Busemann; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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