Turbulence in Lower Austria – ÖVP: No personnel debate, but a lot of fuel


Turbulence in Lower Austria: After the earthquake-like election result, the “Krone” analyzes which party is also cracking at the federal level. What posts is it vibrating about? Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner swears to unity.

Rarely in this election campaign has the governor of Lower Austria, Mikl-Leitner, been so impulsive as a few hours after her bitterest defeat. A decrease of 9.7 percent. loss of absolute majority. Officials and the ÖVP leadership gathered at the city hotel in St. Pölten. With an emotional speech, Mikl-Leitner closed ranks behind him to avoid any management discussions.

Her predecessor, Erwin Proell, had Mikl-Leitner tell the media that while she had done many “positions well”, it was another thing to “fill a leadership position”. This tip from the former powerful father of the country sat. His words still carry weight.

The omnipotence of the ÖVP Lower Austria ended
Yet there is no competition in sight: Mikl-Leitner’s only potential opponent, the head of the farmers’ association Stephan Pernkopf, had to accept a bitter minus of 15 percent even in his hometown of Scheibbs. In addition, precisely the farmers in the Waldviertel ran away from the ÖVP towards the FPÖ – in protest against the restrictive corona policy, including mandatory vaccination. That the Corona backpack caused the farmers to turn away from the People’s Party was probably the most painful realization on election night for the proud ÖVP Lower Austria.

Another consequence: the power of blue and yellow within the People’s Party is no longer undisputed after this disaster. Your internal party omnipotence ended on Election Sunday after the initial projection. Despite the turning point, the mood at the election party of the losers was surprisingly relaxed. But given the electoral debacle, there is no going back to business as usual.

The vicious circle must be broken
The ÖVP state leaders also see this – even though they protest that the ranks in the ÖVP are tightly closed. For Markus Wallner, who incidentally is the last ÖVP governor to rule with a majority of more than 40 percent, the Lower Austrian elections brought one thing above all: “You also reach that third of the population that has little interest in politics.”

From what fact does Wallner draw this conclusion? In Lower Austria, turnout increased by five to 71.52 percent, although about 97,500 second homes were no longer allowed to vote. But the FPÖ took advantage of this.

That is why Styrian governor Christopher Drexler said that the ÖVP can only break the “vicious circle that the FPÖ automatically erases these votes if you listen more closely and take the fears seriously”.

In recent months, the federal ÖVP has mainly focused on the asylum crisis. Wallner doesn’t see that as a mistake. “There is an asylum crisis. If you bring a problem to the boil, you must also provide solutions. But the tent debate was inglorious. When it comes to migration, we also need to talk about better integration in the future.” Meanwhile, Chancellor Karl Nehammer has not yet been counted. But more elections are coming. In Carinthia, then in Salzburg. The air at Ballhausplatz may become thinner.

Source: Krone


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