Attacks in the election campaign: BKA calls for an objective culture of debate

Photo: Smeared SPD election poster for the European elections (archive), via dts news agency

Wiesbaden (dts) - After the attacks on election campaigners such as the Saxon SPD European candidate Matthias Ecke, BKA President Holger Münch appeals for an objective culture of debate and holds the AfD responsible. “The AfD has a special role because it has a very broad presence, especially on social media,” Münch told the “taz”.

“Such a presence can be used to calm or alarm. And many of the AfD publications do not help to calm things down.” Münch added: “The question of how we conduct analogue and digital debates is very crucial.” It has to be about exchanging ideas, but not devaluing them. “Every political actor who does not contribute to ensuring that there is an objective discourse, but rather creates scapegoats – keywords: the foreigner problem and remigration – contributes to this polarization.”

The attack on Ecke was an “extremely brutal act of violence,” Münch told the “taz.” It shows “where political aggression can lead”. The BKA president warned that the development was dangerous. “Such violence can escalate to attempted or completed murder – as we experienced in the Walter Lübcke case. In order not to get there, we are very vigilant and alarmed.”

According to Münch, there were 5.400 crimes against officials and elected officials last year. The number has tripled in the past five years. These numbers are “at least an alarm signal,” said the BKA president. “Nobody can say what the threshold is at which democracy tips over. But if ten percent of officials and elected officials say they are considering quitting because of the hostility and another almost ten percent say they no longer want to run as a candidate because of the hostility, this value is clearly too high.

Münch told the “taz” that there needed to be a response from society as a whole to the violence. “Everyone has to do their part to strengthen trust in democracy again.” This applies to politics, the education system, volunteers and even the police. “We must not leave the discussion spaces to those who are destructive.”