A far-right party candidate is elected as mayor of an East German city

BERLIN (AP) — A candidate for Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany was elected mayor of the eastern city of Pirna on Sunday, marking another milestone for the party.

Official results showed that Tim Lochner – who is not a member of Alternative for Germany or AfD, but ran on its ticket – won 38.5% of the vote in a three-way runoff. Candidates from the center-right Christian Democratic Union, Germany's main opposition party, and the conservative Free Voters received 31.4% and 30.1% of the vote, respectively.

Lochner's victory in Pirna, which has a population of about 40,000 and is located between Saxony's state capital, Saxony, and the Czech border, marks the first time that an AfD candidate has been elected as "Oberbürgermeister", a state of significant size. Is the mayor of the city or town.

The AfD's first mayor anywhere in Germany was elected in August in the municipality of Raguhn-Jesnitz in the neighboring eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt. He came after the first head of the party county administrationRobert Sesselman was elected in June sonenberg countyIn another neighboring state, Thuringia.

The successes come ahead of state elections next September in Saxony, Thuringia and a third eastern state, Brandenburg, in which the AfD is expected to emerge as the strongest party for the first time.

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Recent national polls show the party in second place in terms of dissatisfaction with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with 20% or more. three party government Running high. Although it is strongest in the former communist east, it has performed well there as well. regional elections in the western states of Hesse and Bavaria in October.

Pirna is located in a constituency that has elected AfD candidates in Germany's last two national elections.

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