EThe day after his swearing in, hundreds of people in Pirna, Saxony, protested against the new mayor Tim Lochner (54) with rainbow flags and banners. In front of the town hall they held signs like “Pirna is colorful”, “Human rights instead of right-wing people” or “The difference between 1933 and 2024? “Are you” in the sky.

An action alliance from civil society called for the rally on the market square under the motto “All together for solidarity and openness” to demonstrate for democracy and diversity, “against hate speech and populism from the AfD and other right-wing extremists”. According to the police, the event remained peaceful and trouble-free.

The independent local politician Lochner ran for the AfD and also won a necessary second round of voting in December. The restorer, a former CDU member, has been active in the city council since 2014. According to his own statement, he does not want to join the AfD. At the end of 2023, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified their regional association as a right-wing extremist effort – Lochner did not see this as a problem.

Two mayors for the AfD in Saxony

Around three weeks ago, AfD politician Rolf Weigand won the mayoral election in Groß Schirma in central Saxony. He is the second man, alongside Lochner, to hold a mayoral position for the AfD in Saxony. He clearly won the election with 59.4 percent of the votes.

Weigand, a member of the state parliament, ran as an individual candidate against two other candidates. André Erler got 22.3 percent for the Independent Citizens' Association. Gunther Zschommler achieved 18.2 percent for the CDU.

The election in the small town with a population of 5,500 became necessary after the suicide of the long-time incumbent Volkmar Schreiter last fall. Weigand also ran in the previous mayoral election, but was defeated by Schreiter.