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article imageGermany in bid to ban far-right National Democratic Party

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By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 5, 2012 in World
Germany is expected to announce on Wednesday a legal bid to pursue a ban on the far-right National Democratic Party (NDP) alleging it promotes a "racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic agenda."
Although the National Democratic Party has no parliamentary representation it receives public funding to the tune of € 1.2 million through representation in two states. Calls for the party to be banned center on allegations that the agenda it promotes is in violation of Germany's constitution. Interior ministers from 16 states are meeting on Dec. 5 to make a decision on pursuing a ban.
A previous attempt to ban the party in 2003 failed, causing embarrassment to the government. Reuters reported Chancellor Angela Merkel is concerned that a second attempt to ban the party could strengthen the NDP if the bid fails again.
Der Spiegel reported a legal assessment of the case to ban the NDP was given by senior judge Franz-Wilhelm Dollinger. He concluded: "An overall review shows the goals of the NPD to be incompatible with the liberal democratic order of the constitution." Dollinger also assessed a ban had a more than 50 percent chance of winning the approval of the Federal Constitutional Court.
Holger Apfel, leader of the NDP, welcomed a government attempt to pursue a ban so the party can challenge it. The Telegraph reported Apfel said: "We would welcome it if the application for a ban would finally be made. There's nothing worse than living perpetually under the Sword of Damocles of a ban."
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