Europe

German nationalists elect top duo for general election

  • Nationalist politician Frauke Petry arrives for the second day of a party convention of the far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) in Cologne, Germany, Sunday, April 23, 2017. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

    Nationalist politician Frauke Petry arrives for the second day of a party convention of the far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) in Cologne, Germany, Sunday, April 23, 2017. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Alice Weidel, left, and Alexander Gauland, members of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) wave to the delegates during the party convention in Cologne, Germany, Sunday, April 23, 2017. The delegates elected Weidel and Gauland as new top candidates for the September general election on Sunday, after the party’s best-known politician, Frauke Petry, said she would no longer be available. (Rolf Vennenbernd//dpa via AP)

    Alice Weidel, left, and Alexander Gauland, members of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) wave to the delegates during the party convention in Cologne, Germany, Sunday, April 23, 2017. The delegates elected Weidel and Gauland as new top candidates for the September general election on Sunday, after the party’s best-known politician, Frauke Petry, said she would no longer be available. (Rolf Vennenbernd//dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Alice Weidel, left, and Alexander Gauland, members of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) wave to the delegates during the party convention in Cologne, Germany, Sunday, April 23, 2017. The delegates elected Weidel and Gauland as new top candidates for the September general election on Sunday, after the party’s best-known politician, Frauke Petry, said she would no longer be available. (Rolf Vennenbernd//dpa via AP)

    Alice Weidel, left, and Alexander Gauland, members of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) wave to the delegates during the party convention in Cologne, Germany, Sunday, April 23, 2017. The delegates elected Weidel and Gauland as new top candidates for the September general election on Sunday, after the party’s best-known politician, Frauke Petry, said she would no longer be available. (Rolf Vennenbernd//dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's nationalist party Alternative for Germany has elected two new top candidates for the September general election, after the party's best-known politician, Frauke Petry, said last week she wouldn't be available.

Members of the AfD elected the far-right politicians Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel on Sunday at their party convention in Cologne.

Divisions erupted among the different factions of the German nationalists as delegates from the populist AfD rejected an appeal Saturday by Petry to seek a pragmatic political path instead of turning into a "fundamental opposition" party.

Gauland, 76, is one of the party's most prominent members and considered one of Petry's main rivals. Weidel, 38, is a consultant from southwestern Germany. The new duo is likely to move the party even further to the right.