Hofburg candidate Tassilo Wallentin explained his understanding of the president’s office Monday night. For him, the head of state must be a “counterweight to the government” and “show leadership” in certain situations. A “healthy distance” from politics is therefore an advantage, according to Wallentin, who continues to press for his independence.
Tassilo Wallentin started the race for the Hofburg as a political career changer, but he sees no disadvantage in this:It’s about making people aware that the political establishment is pushing the country against the wall,” Wallentin said in ORF’s “ZiB 2”. The Federal President is the only person democratically elected directly by the people – “and that makes you the first servant of the people”.
“No revenge for rejection of VfGH”
Nor is his candidacy a revenge for his non-appointment as a constitutional judge – he was considered an FPÖ candidate for the position in 2018 – after all, he decided to remain a columnist and author himself. The lawyer also emphasizes that he is independent and that Frank Stronach’s donation for his election campaign was only “a small contribution”.
Wallentin does not want to be accused of painting too gloomy a picture of our country: “We are dealing with multiple crises, high inflation, the asylum chaos. I’ve addressed these issues in my articles and books and found solutions,” said Wallentin, who sees a “complete misunderstanding of office” in incumbent Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. On the other hand, he has no problem tackling unpleasant topics.
Surveys “completely irrelevant”
The fact that Wallentin is far behind Van der Bellen and other candidates in the latest polls does not bother him much: “That is completely irrelevant to me.” Bad results were also predicted for the former FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer. In 2016, Hofer lost to Alexander Van der Bellen in the second round for the highest office in the state.
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