German gov't backs off banning far-right party

AP News
Posted: Mar 18, 2013 12:27 PM

BERLIN (AP) — German officials say the government will hold off seeking a ban on the country's biggest far-right party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet had been split over whether to back a legal bid by Germany's 16 state governments to ban the National Democratic Party, or NPD.

A government official told The Associated Press on Monday that the Cabinet won't make a separate request to Germany's top court. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision won't be formally announced until Wednesday.

Ten years ago the Federal Constitutional Court rejected a ban of the NPD.

Germany's security services say the party promotes a racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic agenda that's unconstitutional.

The NPD receives more than €1 million ($1.33 million) in public funding annually because it has seats in two state parliaments.