This is how black and blue works – Mikl-Leitner and farmers announce a pact for Lower Austria


What the “Krone” already reported on Thursday also happened on Friday. Lower Austria gets its first black and blue state government. At a press conference (see live stream above) Johanna Mikl-Leitner and Udo Landbauer presented the new government and its employment contract.

Differences in the Corona policy, specially adapted ballots, delicate department assignments, resistance from the artistic scene – even before the swearing-in next Thursday, the new state government in Lower Austria had to overcome many minor crises. However, the first tests have all been successful. Both state party executives gave the green light to the black and blue venture in the morning.

Political cornerstones of the pact
The ÖVP and FPÖ originally wanted to agree on a working agreement by the middle of the week. Nothing came of that, mainly because the FPÖ did not want to get stressed and also wanted to leave a scent trail for its own clientele in terms of Corona politics. Farmers demanded compensation up to a “general amnesty” for Covid fines. Mikl-Leitner then admitted that from the current perspective, the corona vaccination obligation was a “mistake” – a statement that was initially not enough for the PVV. Halfway through the week, however, the substantive hurdles were overcome. On Monday it was announced that the two parties had agreed on integration measures. For example, the governor mentioned rules of conduct at school and the principle that the German language should be a basic requirement for funding.

This is how the election of the state governor works
There could be a middle ground in the election of the state’s governor. The PVV has always emphasized that it will not vote for Mikl-Leitner during the constituent session of the state parliament on March 23. According to Landbauer, they will not prevent an election of the state governor and will not vote against the ÖVP leader. To make this sufficiently clear, the ballots for the vote were even specially modified – as the “Krone” revealed. It has been established that the 14 FPÖ MPs are voting invalid. The required majority would be achieved with the 23 ÖVP representatives with a total of 56 mandataries. Only valid votes count.

Why the “grand” coalition failed
The People’s Party initially started, but stopped last week with “in-depth talks” about cooperation with the SPÖ. A compromise was found on four of the five publicly disclosed terms, said new longtime ÖVP party manager Bernhard Ebner. “The SPÖ wanted to implement their five points by hook or by crook,” he says. In all, there were over 200 demands from the Reds, some of which were described by the party manager as “prohibitive” and “unacceptable”. The Social Democrats are said to have “stretched the bow too far and gambled with it”.

SPÖ: “Lumberjack Coalition”
“With Landbauer, Waldhäusl and Co. the ÖVP has found tame bedside tables to maintain its absolutist claim to power. This Kickl-Mikl pact is not a reputation for Lower Austria. Point by point, the SPÖ will seek majorities in the state parliament for a social and democratic Lower Austria,” said the new SPÖ club president Hannes Weninger. According to information from “Krone”, there should be a meeting with the SPÖ club on Monday. The Social Democrats will then consider how much money will be available for government work over the next five years. Due to the system of proportional representation, the SPÖ will belong to the government with two members of the State Council.

Criticism of the “Kickl-Mikl Pact”
On Wednesday, several Lower Austrian artists and the president of the Jewish Community in Vienna (IKG), Oskar Deutsch, spoke openly against cooperation between the ÖVP and the FPÖ. According to media reports, the association “Welcome – to finding a new home” along with eight other organizations saw democracy at risk in an open letter on Thursday.

The election results
The ÖVP won 39.93 percent (minus 9.70 percentage points) in the state elections, losing an absolute majority in the state parliament and for the first time in the state government. The FPÖ achieved a record result with 24.19 percent, replacing the Social Democrats in second place. Like the blacks, the reds (20.65 percent) also had their worst result in the state since 1945. The Greens again reached club strength with 7.59 percent, the NEOS came in at 6.67 percent.

Source: Krone


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