German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been booed and called a “traitor to the nation” during a campaign rally in eastern Germany. The demonstrators, members of the right-wing AfD party, hit out at her refugee policy and held banners reading “Not my chancellor.”

On Thursday, as part of her election campaign ahead of the September parliamentary polls, Merkel made a stop in the small town of Annaberg-Buchholz, in the eastern federal state of Saxony. 

However, the chancellor, who is widely expected to win a fourth term, was met by a crowd of protesters from the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and the anti-immigrant Pegida movement. 

The crowd of an estimated 150 people effectively hijacked the campaign rally and waved banners reading “Traitors to the nation” and “Get out of here” as the chancellor took to the stage. 

They also held signs reading “Regime Change in Germany!” and “CDU – we are destroying Germany,” referring to the Christian Democratic Union of Germany party, of which Merkel is the head.

“Not My Kanzlerin [Chancelllor],” read another banner held by protesters. The slogan is similar to the one held by protesters after US President Donald Trump was elected. 

In her speech, Merkel attempted to defend her policy toward asylum seekers.

“Many people were worried. They said to themselves: ‘What about us? Are we still important or are only the refugees important’?” she told crowds in the central market square in the town, as cited by Reuters.

She also hit back at the booing crowd: “Some want to listen, but others can only shout. That is what separates us.”

Saxony has been swept by anti-immigration and anti-Muslim protests in recent years, with Pegida staging regular “Monday walks” against the government refugee policy and perceived Islamization of Germany. 

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