Germany's Constitutional Court rejects an attempt by the country's 16 federal states to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), described by the intelligence agency as racist and anti-Semitic. Saskia O'Donoghue reports.
Germany's highest court rejected an historic attempt to ban a far right political party on Tuesday (January 17). The Federal Constitutional Court ruling that the National Democratic Party - or NPD - could not overthrow power in Germany. The NPD has around 5,000 members but, crucially, no seats in the Bundestag, German parliament's lower house. This marks the second time an attempt to ban the NPD has failed. The ruling comes amid concern over rising support for right-wing groups due to resentment over immigration. Only the constitutional court can ban a party in Germany. In fact, it has happened only twice since the defeat of the Nazis in 1945 - both bans were in the 1950s. The NPD has been mostly been eclipsed by the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party. The AfD is expected to win some seats in this year's general election and is seen as a threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats.