Bild: Merkel wants to engage with right-wing party and its voters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering a change of course towards the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) by engaging with the party and its voters, mass circulation newspaper Bild reported Tuesday.

During a meeting of her centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said that demonizing the party - which has seats in half of Germany's 16 state legislatures - and its supporters will only cause further alienation from the established parties, Bild reported.

Pollsters and political analysts say Merkel's centrist course over the past decade has caused conservative supporters of her CDU to become alienated and opt for the AfD, which last week enshrined its anti-immigration and anti-Islam stance in a new manifesto.

At state elections in March, the AfD made unprecedented electoral gains, landing it in the Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt state parliaments.

Last update: Tue, 03/05/2016 - 10:10
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