The AfD federal leadership has accused the governing parties of politically abusing the protection of the constitution – and announced resistance to the observation by the secret service. “We won’t let ourselves be destroyed as an alternative,” said party leader Tino Chrupalla on Saturday in Stuttgart at the state party conference of the AfD Baden-Württemberg.

Chrupalla told the German Press Agency that it was an attempt to discredit and disintegrate the AfD. In democratic Europe, that was an absolutely special way, he complained. The AfD is being observed as a suspected case by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and, more recently, by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the south-west.

Co-federal party leader Alice Weidel said at the opening of the party conference in Stuttgart that one would not sit idly by and see how the AfD was being excluded and silenced. Weidel was state chairman in Baden-Württemberg for two and a half years, but did not want to run again on Saturday. It is not unconstitutional to denounce the “failures of the established parties,” she said. It is even the opposition’s duty to point out such omissions. The governing parties, however, moved further and further away from the principle of democracy. Weidel said that they would defend themselves politically and legally against the surveillance by the secret service.

The Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) only announced on Thursday that the party would also be observed in the south-west in the future. The authority therefore sees “sufficiently weighty factual evidence” for anti-constitutional efforts in the AfD Baden-Württemberg. The secret service agents are allowed to take a closer look at the right-wing populists and, under strict conditions, observe members, monitor phones and recruit informants.

Weidel called the process “outrageous”. Where else in Western democracies is there a domestic intelligence agency used by the government to “infiltrate and badmouth” the opposition, she asked. She criticized “stigmatization with simultaneous terror”: “Our houses are defaced, cars are set on fire from the left-wing extremist milieu – I would also like to see a constitutional state that takes action against it.”