Until recently, the central figure of the party has been Bernd Lucke, a Hamburg based economics professor.
Over the last two years, the AfD's right wing grew stronger and stronger, while party-leader Bernd Lucke
slowly lost his
grip over the party's members.
While the original party leader, Bernd Lucke, tried to assume full control of all the party's actions, his rivals and opponents aimed at a more democratic approach.
was criticized for his
"despot-like style of leadership" and his
inner-party communication style.
Interestingly enough, Lucke
had always been one of the more liberal forces within the party, working to prevent a surge of the right-wing powers attempting to assume control over the AfD
Bernd Lucke lost more and more ground to the right-wing heads of the eastern German party chapters, Alexander Gauland3 and Frauke Petry4 . As they worked on setting up a party leadership without him, Lucke founded the "Weckruf 2015 (Wake-Up Call 2015) group within the party in order to rally sufficient support for his cause, but his resistance quickly turned out to be futile.
Eventually, Petry managed to claim the party's leadership, which was the tipping point for Lucke to leave the AfD and found the ALFA: Allianz für Fortschritt und Aufbruch (Alliance for Progress and Renewal).
When asked about his
motives for leaving the Alternative for Germany, Lucke
stated: "The party has fallen irretrievably into the wrong hands.
was joined by many of the more liberal members of the AfD
, who where afraid of the party's move "in a rightward direction toward illiberalism, with a strong tendency to discriminate against minority groups.
In late July, 2015, the ALFA
was said to have more than 5,000 members.
However, even fresh out of the cradle, the ALFA
faced its first hurdles.
After the ALFA
published its first political program, the AfD
sued the party for copyright infringement.
former party deemed its successor's program too close to its own, the irony being that Lucke himself was largely responsible for the design of both programs.