Founded in 1948, the liberal pro-business FDP participated in German governments led by the CDU and the SPD as a junior partner for a total of 45 years - before dropping out of parliament after the 2013 general election.
The FDP promotes free market economy and individual liberty and had a reputation as a "king maker" for both Germany's big parties, neither of whom have managed to get an absolute majority for decades. Frequently, the FDP emerged as a viable junior coalition partner. The FDP's critics alleged that the party catered only to its voter base of urban, wealthy, self-employed Germans - such as pharmacists, hotel owners, lawyers and doctors. It failed to get more than 5% of the vote in the 2013 election and therefore dropped out of the Bundestag. The party is seeking to recover its national parliamentary representation in the 2017 elections. Recent DW stories tagged "FDP" appear on this page.
The German political grandee has criticized the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, saying it does not "draw a line" to exclude radical elements. AfD politicians have been blamed over this week's killings in Hanau.
The CDU's flirtation with the far-right populist AfD party in the state of Thuringia has plunged the centre-right party into a deep identity crisis and triggered the resignation of its leader. Nothing less than its future course is at stake. Guests: Matthew Karnitschnig (Politico), Derek Scally (Irish Times), Vendeline von Bredow (Economist)
Thomas Kemmerich submitted his "unavoidable" resignation, after the far-right AfD helped him become state premier of Thuringia. But for his 24 hours in the job, he stands to receive a minimum sum for a six-month tenure.
Across the continent, right-wing populist parties are trying to pass themselves off as respectable. This strategy just paid off for the far-right AfD's strategic gambit in the state of Thuringia. Bernd Riegert reports.