DAILYKENN.com -- Using pejoratives such as "xenophobic" and "racist," anti-democracy militants are asking Germany's highest court to ban the "far-right" National Democratic Party.
Oddly, the excuse for the banning to party is protect democracy.
Germany’s top court is contemplating banning the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) party after a request was made by the federal upper house which said that the party threatened democracy. It is the first case of its kind in 60 years.
The hearings began on Tuesday in the Federal Constitutional Court in the western German city of Karlsruhe and is set to continue until Thursday.
The constitutional court chief justice started off by saying that there remained many obstacles in the way of the prohibition of any political party.
A party prohibition "is a sharp and double-edged sword that must be used with great caution," Andreas Vosskuhle said, adding that "it limits freedom in order to preserve freedom."
To ban the party, Germany’s 16 states which represent the federal upper house, have to prove to the the court that NPD poses a threat to the democratic order. Those standing in favor of the ban have to convince that the party is igniting a “climate of fear” in Germany and "shares essential characteristics" with the Nazis.
A majority of six out of the panel’s eight judges is required to put a ban on the NPD party, or any of its successor organization.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to support the idea although she has not officially joined the initiative. Merkel has previously called the NPD "an anti-democratic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-constitutional party".
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