Björn Höcke (AfD) and Mario Voigt (CDU), top candidates for the state elections in Thuringia, before the TV duel on April 11, 2024.
Image: dpa

CDU man Voigt sharply attacks “Reich Chancellor” Höcke in the TV duel. The AfD politician struggles when he is confronted with his most famous statements.

Mario Voigt can be satisfied. On Thursday evening he refuted the assumption that he would be defeated by AfD man Björn Höcke in a speech duel. Voigt seemed confident and well prepared, while Höcke seemed nervous and not very confident for long stretches. As the show progressed, Voigt became stronger, while Höcke became weaker, also because the moderators asked him more decisively. He was obviously keen to appear as a moderate politician.

Markus Wehner

Political correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia based in Erfurt.

Voigt said he would have expected Höcke to have the “guts” to stand by his theses. But Höcke didn't even think about it. When it came to the term remigration, i.e. the return of millions of people from Germany propagated by the AfD, Höcke came up with a completely new definition: He used the term to refer to the one and a half million Germans who had emigrated in recent years come back to Germany, so they should remigrate.