German parliament speaker rebuffs far-right party

BERLIN (AP) — The speaker of Germany’s parliament says the far-right Alternative for Germany has no legal right to a deputy speaker, a position it has been unable to get other parties’ support to fill.

It is customary for each party in the lower house to have a deputy alongside speaker Wolfgang Schaeuble, a veteran conservative lawmaker, but candidates need to win majority support to take the post. Lawmakers so far have rejected three contenders proposed by Alternative for Germany, or AfD.

Schaeuble told news agency dpa in comments published Saturday “there is no legal right” to a deputy speaker, only an “agreement” in parliament’s procedural rules that each party can put forward a candidate.

AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland criticized Schaeuble and said Germany’s highest court will have to decide on the matter.

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