Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday fired a government official whose congratulating of a state governor elected with a far-right party’s help angered Merkel’s coalition partners.
Christian Hirte, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union who was the government’s commissioner for the formerly communist east and a deputy economy minister, tweeted that he resigned after Merkel told him he could no longer do the job. Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, confirmed his dismissal.
Hirte’s departure is the latest fallout from the shock election Wednesday of pro-business politician Thomas Kemmerich as governor of the eastern state of Thuringia.
The far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, enabled it by supporting him in a vote in the state legislature as did the regional branch of Merkel’s CDU, against the wishes of its national leadership.