The Republicans (REP - German: Die Republikaner) is a national conservative political party in Germany. The primary plank of the REP's program is anti-immigration, and the party tends to attract protest voters who think that the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) are not sufficiently conservative. It was founded in 1983 by former CSU members Franz Handlos and Ekkehard Voigt, and Franz Schönhuber was at one time the party's leader.
The REP is currently led by medical doctor Rolf Schlierer. In the 1980s the Republicans had several seats in the European Parliament as well as in the parliament of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. In Baden-Württemberg, the party has had seats until 2001. Currently they only attract between 1 and 2 percent of the vote in Bavaria, and approximately 3.5 percent in Baden-Württemberg, thus failing to reach the 5 percent necessary to win seats in the parliaments.
The Republicans are considered by many Germans as extreme-right and neo-Nazi in their orientation, but do not see themselves in that way. The avowedly extreme-right party National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) and the far-right German People's Union (DVU), both of which are more successful than the Republicans, have offered the Republicans a chance to join their electoral alliance, but the REP leaders refused any cooperation with any openly extreme-right parties.
However, Kerstin Lorenz, a local leader of the REP sabotaged her own party's registration for the Saxony state elections, to the benefit of the NPD. After that election, the party lost extreme-right members to the DVU or NPD.
In the 2005 federal elections, the REP received 0.6 percent of the total votes cast nationally. Its strongest showing was in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg. In each of these states, the Republicans received 1.1 percent of the vote.
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Berlin Political Personalities Today
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