BERLIN (AP) — The far-right Alternative for Germany, which has opposed many of the country’s pandemic restrictions, has canceled its planned party congress next month due to the surge in coronavirus infections.

Germany has seen record infection rates in recent days and this week passed the mark of 100,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Alternative for Germany’s co-leaders said Friday that the decision to postpone the Dec. 11-12 meeting had been taken out of “duty of care and responsibility for the members, delegates, but in particular also all AfD staff as well as service personnel.”

One of the leaders of the party’s parliamentary caucus, Alice Weidel, recently contracted the virus. German public broadcaster MDR reported Thursday that the party’s leader in Thuringia state, Bjoern Hoecke, has also been infected. Several regional AfD officials have died of COVID-19.

About two dozen AfD lawmakers were prevented from sitting in the plenary during the first meeting of Germany’s newly elected parliament last month for refusing to show a vaccine or recovery certificate, or a negative test.

Polls show that Alternative for Germany supporters reject stricter measures to tackle the pandemic, unlike a majority of supporters of other parties.


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