Populist AfD wins first mayoral seat in a German city

Populist AfD wins first mayoral seat in a German city

AfD candidate Tim Lochner has won the far-right party its first mayoral seat in a German city, taking 38,5 percent of the vote in the election on December 17.

Pirna: AfD wins mayoral seat in a German city

Germany’s far-right AfD party has won its first-ever mayoral seat in a city. Candidate Tim Lochner won the seat with 38,5 percent of the vote and was elected as mayor of the city in Saxony after the second round of voting. With around 40.000 inhabitants, Pirna lies 30 kilometres southeast of Dresden. 

53-year-old Lochner had initially run as an independent candidate but then opted to run for the AfD, eventually beating CDU candidate Kathrin Dollinger-Knuth, and Ralf Thiele, who was standing for the centre-right Free Voters party. Dollinger-Knuth took 31,4 percent of the vote and Thiele, 30,1 percent, making it a three-way run-off.

AfD co-leader Alice Weidel called the win in Pirna a “historic result” and claimed that Lochner had won by a considerable margin.

Saxony names AfD an extremist organisation 

The first mayoral win in a German city comes just days after the party, which was founded in 2013, was officially named an extremist organisation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV) agency in Saxony.

The AfD continues to grow in popularity among voters in Germany, particularly in the former eastern federal states. Lochner’s win follows a series of victories for the AfD throughout 2023, with Robert Sesselmann winning the party its first district council seat in June and Hannes Loth winning the AfD its first mayoral seat, in the town of Raguhn-Jeßnitz, Saxony-Anhalt

On a nationwide scale, dwindling support for Olaf Scholz’s traffic light coalition also led to the party overtaking the governing SPD in the polls back in June.

Thumb image credit: nitpicker /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

Read more



Leave a comment