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As the far-right Alternative for Germany continues to rise — and its radicalism becomes increasingly pronounced — a growing chorus of mainstream politicians is asking whether the best way to stop the party is to try to ban it.

The debate kicked off in earnest after Saskia Esken, the co-chief of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD), came out earlier this month in favor of discussing a ban — if only, as she put it, to “shake voters” out of their complacency.

Since then, politicians from across the political spectrum have weighed in on whether a legal effort to ban Alternative for Germany (AfD), while possible under German law, would be tactically smart — or only further fuel the party’s rise.

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