Germany's anti-immigrant party announces September election line-up

The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Sunday voted for 76-year-old publicist Alexander Gauland and 38-year-old economist Alice Weidel to jointly lead its campaign for the country's September national election.

A majority of AfD delegates backed the two candidates at a congress in Cologne. The right-wing AfD is seeking to win seats in the national parliament for the first time.

The vote followed a surprise announcement on Wednesday by co-leader Frauke Petry, the party's public face, that she would not lead the AfD's election campaign. This could boost mainstream parties and lessen the threat the right-wing AfD poses to Chancellor Angela Merkel's bid for a fourth term.