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Angela Merkel hopes to see off the threat of the AfD's Frauke Petry in September's election
Lawmakers have been accused of attempting to scrap German political traditions in a desperate effort to stop the rise of the nationalist AfD.
The Father of the House of the Bundestag, or Alterspräsident, is normally the oldest parliamentarian.
But with current Father of the House and member of Angela Merkel’s CDU, 81-year-old Heinz Riesenhuber, confirming he will not stand at the next election, it is thought the AfD is a possible contender.
The fact that old traditions are simply scrapped for fear of the AfD is not exactly a good look for Lammert
AfD board member Paul Hampel
Party co-founder Alexander Gauland, 76, or his colleague Wilhelm von Gotberg, also 76, could be a contender for the role, with the Father of the House’s duties including leading the first session of a new parliament and standing in for the Bundestag president and their deputies when necessary.
Bundestag president Norbert Lammert has suggested the role of the Alterspräsident should not necessarily be the eldest.
The Father of the House of the Bundestag, or Alterspräsident, is normally the oldest parliamentarian
Instead of the role automatically falling to the next oldest member, Mr Lammert, a member of Ms Merkel’s ruling CDU party, says the politician who has served the most time in parliament should take up the post.
Mr Lammert said basing the decision according to years of service will ensure the first session of any German parliament is overseen by an experienced individual.
AfD board member Paul Hampel said: "The fact that old traditions are simply scrapped for fear of the AfD is not exactly a good look for Lammert.”
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Current Father of the House Heinz Riesenhuber, 81, will not stand in September's election
Bundestag president Norbert Lammert has suggested the Alterspräsident should not be the eldest
The rule change would have be approved by the majority of parliament.
Ms Merkel’s junior coalition partner the SPD has voiced support for the move.
SPD parliamentary party leader Thomas Oppermann said: "This is a good proposal. One needs experience. This is true regardless of a possible AfD Father of the House."
Angela Merkel's ever changing face Mon, March 20, 2017
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and her ever changing face
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The AfD looks set to enter the national parliament for the first time in Germany's September’s election with a predicted nine per cent of the votes, according to a GMS poll.
The survey showed the German Chancellor’s conservatives would win more votes than the centre-left SPD if an election was to be held this Sunday.
It also suggested that another grand coalition of conservatives and the SPD was the most likely outcome of the September election.