No NR candidacy – now resolved: Othmar Karas will not be a candidate this fall

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No NR candidacy – now resolved: Othmar Karas will not be a candidate this fall

There has been a lot of speculation in recent months about the political future of EU veteran Othmar Karas (ÖVP). As is known, as of Sunday nothing has happened to participate in the EU elections with his own list. It is now clear that he will not stand as a candidate in the National Council elections in the autumn.

The 66-year-old said this in the ORF press hour. However, Karas would be “available” as the new EU commissioner. He left open the answer to the question of whether he wanted to run for the next federal presidential election. “Do you know what will happen in four years?” Karas asked the counter question. “Don’t know.”

Was not put forward in the last EU elections
Karas had repeatedly openly opposed the ÖVP party line and was recently no longer nominated for the EU elections. There have been rumors about the ÖVP politician’s own political project for some time. In the ‘press hour’ he explained that he had thought about participating in the elections for the National Council with his own list. He only does things ‘that make sense’ and that ‘have a design option’.

The outcome of the consultation was that “this design option is currently not sufficiently available”. “That is why I and my team are not participating in the National Council elections,” Karas said. Running would have further fragmented the party landscape and made forming a government even more difficult, Karas said.

Interested in the position of EU Commissioner
However, Karas was certainly interested in the position of EU commissioner. He was recently nominated by the NEOS and also received support from the Greens and SPÖ politicians. Karas emphasized that he was pleased to be mentioned in recognition of his work. However, a government decision and a majority in the main committee are required for the appointment. “If this proposal were to come, I would be available,” Karas emphasized. What is made of his statement is out of his hands.

Time and again the ÖVP line deviates
Karas is not really well received by the ÖVP leadership, because he has repeatedly deviated from the party line in the past and has sometimes publicly criticized the course of the federal party. For example, Karas criticized the role of the People’s Party in Europe or its position on asylum and migration. He also criticized several “sham debates”, such as that of ÖVP boss and Chancellor Karl Nehammer on enshrining the right to cash in the constitution.

Karas joined the EU Parliament for the People’s Party in 1999. He led the ÖVP delegation from 2006 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2019. In January 2022, the native of Lower Austria was elected First Vice-President of the European Parliament. He previously held this position from 2012 to 2014 and from 2019 to 2022.

Source: Krone

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