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German far-right AfD gains first elected official

Robert Sesselmann
Robert Sesselmann Copyright FERDINAND MERZBACH/AFP
Copyright FERDINAND MERZBACH/AFP
By Euronews with AP
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The populist far-right party has won its first seat in a district council election in Sonneberg. This is despite representatives of the SPD, Greens, FDP and other parties calling for support for his opponent.

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Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) has won its first district election. It's a further boost to the anti-immigration party as it surges to record highs in opinion polls.

Robert Sesselmann, a lawyer and regional lawmaker, came out on top against incumbent Jürgen Köpper of the centre-right Christian Democrat Party (CDU )in a  runoff election in Sonneberg county. 

Sesselmann took 52.8% of the vote in the second round run-off.

#Sonneberg experienced his blue miracle: Robert #Sesselmann is the first #AfD district administrator in Germany. Congratulations and thanks to all supporters and voters - they all made history today!

Sonneberg is located in Thuringia, one of three eastern regions that holds state elections next year.

The AfD in Thuringia has been classified as a right-wing extremist by the state's domestic intelligence agency and is under surveillance.

In recent polls, the AfD has been on the rise nationwide, but especially in the eastern German states.

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