German party disciplines regional MP over visit to Moscow — RT World News

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Hamburg intends to expel a lawmaker who recently served as an election observer in Russia

Her Siberian-born German political party has been punished for deceiving fellow members about its intention to work as an election observer in Russia.

Olga Petersen, a member of the Hamburg state parliament, went to Russia in March to monitor the presidential elections. Local media at the time reported positive impressions of the operation.

The right-wing Alternative for Germany party, to which Petersen belongs, now intends to expel her. The party's Hamburg branch announced on Tuesday that she had been removed from its party in parliament, and that the legal process to expel her from the party began last Friday.

The statement listed several reasons for the disciplinary action, most of which related to internal party politics over which Petersen allegedly had a disruptive influence. The AfD also accused her of deceiving fellow members by telling them she was going to Russia as a private person and behaving differently during the trip.

The German government denounced the elections, claiming that they were neither free nor fair, and refused to send a representative to attend Vladimir Putin's inauguration ceremony on Tuesday. The Russian president won by a landslide last March, earning a fifth term in office.

According to German media, earlier this year, the AfD's federal leadership reprimanded three members of its Bavarian branch who defied its warnings not to monitor the Russian elections. In general, the party criticizes the government's handling of the Ukrainian crisis and calls for improving relations with Moscow.

Petersen was the only woman in the AfD faction in the Hamburg parliament. Now that it is independent, the group has shrunk to six members. She told NDR radio that her loyalties remained with the party and that she was preparing for a legal battle against the proposal to expel her.

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