The leader of Germany's radical Left Party, Gesine Loetsch, reaped anger on Wednesday for comments suggesting her party pursued communist goals, DPA reported.
"We can only find the paths to communism if we set off and try them out, whether in opposition or in government," Loetsch wrote in a guest article for Marxist daily Junge Welt.
The general secretary of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, Hermann Groehe, accused Loetsch of a "scandalous longing for communism."
His counterpart in the CDU's Bavarian sister party, Alexander Dobrindt, said the Left Party had an "unconstitutional ethos, right up to the top leaders."
The parliamentary head of the opposition left-of-centre Social Democrats, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called for a clarification of the matter.
Loetsch defended her comments, which she said were in preparation for a panel discussion on January 8, aimed at winning over members of the public who thought the Left Party was too mainstream.
"The Left Party is left-wing socialist, we are and will not become a communist party. And I will not become a member of the communist platform," Loetsch told Spiegel news magazine.
The Left Party won almost 12 per cent in Germany's 2009 federal election and is part of the governing coalition in the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg.