Joerg Meuthen, Albrecht Glaser and Frauke Petry of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) pose before a news conference at the Bundespressekonferenz in Berlin, Germany, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
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The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party called for closing borders, restricting Islamic practices and fighting the ruling "oligarchy" in its election campaign program released Thursday.Polling at around 11 percent now, the four-year-old AfD aims to become the first party to the right of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc to enter the national parliament in September elections.The AfD opposes all "mainstream" political parties and what it regards as their allies in the media, arguing that Germany is ruled by a remote elite that is betraying ordinary citizens.The AfD was founded as a small fringe party in 2013, at the height of the eurozone crisis, to oppose bailouts for indebted economies like Greece and to demand the reintroduction of the deutschmark.
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