German far right loses legal bid to gag minister

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2014 4:40 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's highest court has dismissed a lawsuit by the country's main far-right party in attempt to gag a Cabinet minister who had spoken out against it.

The National Democratic Party, or NPD, argued that Manuela Schwesig, the minister for families, violated its rights when she said in a newspaper interview ahead of September's election in Thuringia: "The No. 1 aim must be that the NPD does not get into the state legislature."

The Federal Constitutional Court said Tuesday that ministers are obliged to be politically neutral only when specifically using the authority or resources of their office.

In June, the court threw out an NPD complaint against President Joachim Gauck, who had described protesters against a center for asylum seekers as "nut cases."