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 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.