Current Event 3/17/12

The German far-right extremist National Democratic Party has been controversial for over nine years, since the federal government first tried to outlaw the party. The request to ban the party is a tedious and technical process that involves a request to the Federal Constitutional Court. First investigated in March 2003, the case against the NDP eventually failed, not in deciding whether the party was unconstitutional but in making it possible to ban the party. The NDP has been active since then, associated with white nationalist and conservative groups.
However, in early 2011 a second attempt to ban the party was introduced by Hans-Peter Friedrich, and will be introduced to interior ministers in Berlin on March 22. This attempt will be supported by evidence from murders of nine immigrants and a police officer, committed last year. There has not yet been a connection between the possible perpetrators and the NDP, which was founded in 1964. A former representative from the NDP, Ralf Wohlleben, has been connected with the murders, accused of buying ammunition for the National Socialist Underground, which is the group responsible for the murders. As yet, there is no news to how this evidence will affect Friedrich's case on March 22, but some doubt that it will be enough to put into effect a complete ban on the party.
The NDP has a relatively small following, but still a large impact because of its extreme tendencies. If banned, the party would be the third to meet that fate after the Socialist Reich Party and the Communist Party of Germany. A renewed attempt to ban the party shows a progressive movement in Germany, and acceptance of more diverse peoples by the people and the government. Political cooperation between the federal government and both houses of parliament is also evident in this process, which is especially heartening in the wake of recent instability due to the resignation of former President Christian Wulff.


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