People protest against a rally by far-right-wing supporters, who are demonstrating against the German government’s immigration policies and migrants. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Germany's populist party AfD enjoyed a surge in support in weekend elections despite public outrage over its leader's comment that police may have to shoot at migrants to keep them from entering the country.Alexander Haeusler, political scientist at the University of Applied Sciences of Duesseldorf, said Thueringen party leader Bjoern Hoecke and his counterpart in Saxony-Anhalt Andre Poggenburg are among those preaching an extremist line.Hoecke sparked outrage when he said in December that the "reproductive behavior of Africans" could be a threat for Germany, while Poggenburg has campaigned for an "upper limit of zero" for asylum seekers.Although Meuthen only scored 15.1 percent in Baden-Wurttemberg compared to Poggenburg's 24.1 percent in Saxony-Anhalt, it was in some ways a more significant success.In absolute numbers – with 810,000 votes, it was simply the best showing for the party in the regional elections.
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