Germany: Ramelow elected in Thuringia as he refuses AfD leader's hand

Thuringia's Parliament voted in Die Linke member Bodo Ramelow as Thuringia's next Minister President in Erfurt on Wednesday as he refused to shake Alternative for Germany (AfD) party leader Bjorn Hocke's hand after being sworn in. «When I can clearly see that democracy stands at the forefront [in the AfD], then I am willing to shake also your hand, Mr Hocke, but only then. When you defend... Еще democracy and are not kicking democracy with [your] feet,» said Ramelow. The newly elected Minister President was voted in the third voting round, after his fellow contester Hocke decided not to compete in it. «This approach to conquer freedom, to take freedom and to shape freedom is the duty of this high house,» added Ramelow. The minister president elections had to be repeated in less than a month after the scandal of Thomas Kemmerich, from the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), being elected as Minister President with the help of votes from the right-wing AfD party. The scandal led to the resignation of CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as party chief. MANDATORY CREDIT: Thüringer Landtag

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