Home News Germany’s first African-American MP won’t seek re-election

Germany’s first African-American MP won’t seek re-election

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Germany’s first African-American lawmaker said this week he would not run for office again in next year’s election. Although he downplayed the impact of racism, his announcement came shortly after staff members disclosed the torrent of hate mail and death threats his office had received.

Karamba Diaby, 62, a Senegalese who was first elected to parliament in 2013, said in a letter to colleagues that he wanted to make way for a new generation of politicians and that racism was “not the main reason for his decision”. But he has been outspoken about the abuse he has suffered, which has clearly increased in both magnitude and intensity in recent years.

bullet Shooting through the window In 2020, his regional office, the office is Arson Target last year.

“I can’t erase all this. These are not small things,” Diaby said in an interview, according to Funke Media Group, a large German newspaper and magazine publisher.

The election more than a decade ago was hailed as a major victory for equality when Diaby, who has a doctorate in chemistry and emigrated to East Germany in 1985, was elected. Diaby, who belongs to the Social Democratic Party led by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said his main reason for leaving was to spend more time with his family.

However, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is polling far more strongly than centre-left parties in its constituencies.

Diaby blamed the surge in racism and threats on the rising Alternative for Germany party, whose populist platform won Germany’s second place in recent EU elections.

“I have received numerous murder threats over the past few years,” he said. Podcast interview with Politico.eu this week. “This is beyond the line.”

He added: “The AfD spreads hatred every day with its misanthropic rhetoric, a hatred that manifests itself in concrete psychological and physical violence. This endangers the cohesion of our society. We cannot simply accept this.”

The city of Halle, represented by Diaby, belongs to Saxony-Anhalt, one of the eastern states where the nationalist and anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party is dominant.

Just last year, Mr Diaby took a very different approach to those who had threatened him.

“More than 42,000 people voted for me in Halle,” he said. Interviewed by Der Spiegel“Quitting means their vote will count less than the votes of the hateful minority.”

He added: “I will never allow this to happen.”

Christopher F. Schutz Contributed reporting.

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