>> Hundreds of demonstrators blocked the streets of Hanover in Northern Germany on Saturday, in an attempt to disrupt the anti-immigration party alternative for Germany's annual congress.>> No, no, no, no, no, no.>> Police and protesters scuffled near the venue, before a water cannon was used to disperse the crowds The disruption outside saw the meeting start an hour late.
Members have gathered to pick the parties' new leaders. The AFD won 12.6% of the vote in Germany's general election in September, becoming the third largest group in parliament, and the first from the far-right to win the seats in the Bundestag since the 1950s. An anti-immigration platform is believed to have helped the AFD, after an influx of more than a million migrants since mid-2015 hurt both the major German parties in the election.
It's also been a key issue in German coalition talks, with Chancellor Angela Merkel stating immigration was a major obstacle to her ability to strike a three way deal with potential partners. She's under intense pressure to break the political deadlock in Europe's biggest economy, and her conservative CDU Party has agreed to pursue a grand coalition with the social Democrats in order to do so.
Mainstream parties fear that if a deal can't be reached, a new election would only add to the AFD's support.>>