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Why the federal presidential election is already record-breaking

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The largest selections to date came in 2016 and 1951, with six candidates raising the necessary 6,000 statements of support. In addition to Alexander Van der Bellen, FPÖ candidate Walter Rosenkranz can also count on that this year. Four to five other candidates should have a very good chance.

Beer party boss Dominik Wlazny and MFG chairman Michael Brunner should be able to collect the 6,000 signatures by September 2 (assuming the votes for their parties in previous elections). Ex-politician (FPÖ and BZÖ) and current blogger Gerald Grosz and “Krone” columnist Tassilo Wallentin also have good chances – and “Waldviertler” shoemaker Heinrich Staudinger could also succeed, as he is also well known.

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The short biographies of the candidates who will (maybe) be on the ballot paper in the presidential election:

ALEXANDER VAN DER BELLEN – Federal President since 2016, prevailed in the election marathon with 53.8 percent against Norbert Hofer (FPÖ). The Hofburg is the 78-year-old’s third place of work. The economist originally worked as a university professor at the universities of Vienna and Innsbruck. At 50 he went into politics and became a member of the National Council (1994 to 2012) – for the Greens, who elected him chief in 1997. After losing in the 2008 election, he resigned as federal spokesman, and in 2012 he moved from the National Council to the Municipal Council of the City of Vienna – whose university representative he had been since 2011. In 2016, Van der Bellen ran as an independent candidate – but with strong support from the Greens – in the federal presidential election. Van der Bellen was born on January 18, 1944 in Vienna to Russian-Estonian parents. He grew up in the Tyrolean Kaunertal, he only became an Austrian citizen in 1958. Van der Bellen is the father of two sons from his first marriage and is now married to Doris Schmidauer.

WALTER ROSENKRANZ (FPÖ) – Ombudsman since July 1, 2019 – nominated, as for the Hofburg elections, by the FPÖ. The 60-year-old lawyer already has a long party and political career behind him: He made it to the federal chairman in the Freedom Student Initiative, then he came to the National Council via the Krems municipal council and the Vienna FPÖ (as in-house lawyer). From 2008 to 2019, Rosencrantz was a free member of parliament, from 2017 to 2019 under Heinz-Christian Strache also executive club chairman. He also led the Lower Austrian state party from 2013 to 2019. Rosenkranz, who was born in Krems on July 29, 1962, not only studied law in Vienna, but also studied guitar at the university for two years. The 60-year-old is married and the father of one son.

MICHAEL BRUNNER (MFG) – The 61-year-old lawyer came into politics through the protest against the Corona measures. The lawyer appeared with his office in Vienna with numerous constitutional complaints against the protective measures. In February 2021, Brunner was one of the co-founders and is now the federal chairman of the MFG (People – Freedom – Basic Rights) party. She successfully competed in the Upper Austria elections in autumn 2021: the vaccine skeptics immediately entered the state parliament with more than 50,000 votes (6.2 percent). In the Tyrolean municipal elections in February this year, the entry into the municipal councils was largely successful, but no MFG candidate was successful at the mayoral level.

DOMINIK WLAZNY – Aims for the Hofburg candidacy under his real name, but is better known as “Marco Pogo”, singer and composer of the punk rock band Turbobier. He decided on music during his time as a resident doctor. He came to politics through music. In 2015 he founded – because of a song of the same name – the beer party, for fun. In 2019 he got serious about it: in the 2019 National Council election, Wlazny managed to run in Vienna and got almost 5,000 votes. In the 2020 Vienna municipal council election, there were already around 13,100, but not enough to enter the state parliament. However, the beer party managed to get into some district councils, Pogo is a district councilor in Simmering. And anything but a vaccination skeptic: The (non-practicing) doctor vaccinated against Corona in Viennese vaccination streets and also before his concert in the Arena. He completed his medical studies in Vienna in 2012.

TASSILO WALLENTIN – The Viennese lawyer would like to run as an independent candidate on October 9 – and not, as had been expected, as a candidate for the FPÖ. She wanted to make the lawyer a constitutional judge in 2018, but Wallentin gave up in view of the major reservations of the coalition partner ÖVP and the Federal President. The reason for the skepticism was his Sunday columns in the “Kronen Zeitung”, in which he repeatedly attracted attention with attacks on the EU. The columns are now discontinued, said the “Krone” – whose founder Hans Dichand represented the lawyer for several years – with the announcement of his candidacy. Wallentin was born on December 25, 1973, studied law in Salzburg (after attending school in Vienna). There he was initially a university assistant, after working in a law firm in the USA he founded his law firm in 2004 in the center of Vienna.

GERALD GROSZ – The 45-year-old Styrian is now a blogger, but has had a long career in politics – first with the FPÖ and then with Jörg Haider’s BZÖ. He came to the FPÖ in 1992 via the Freedom Youth Ring. After school, Grosz completed a commercial apprenticeship in an advertising company in Graz, and in 1999 he became a parliamentary employee in the FPÖ club. From 2000 to 2005 he was spokesman for FPÖ government members (Herbert Haupt and Sigisbert Dolinschek). In 2005 he moved to the newly founded BZÖ, where he held numerous positions, including head of Styria, general secretary, Graz municipal council, member of the National Council (2008 to 2013) – and after missing his return in 2013 as party leader. In 2015 he retired from the party and became an entrepreneur and blogger. Grozs – born on February 15, 1977 in Graz – has been with his partner since 2013.

Heinrich Staudinger – Born (April 5, 1953) and raised in Upper Austria, Staudinger became known with the “Waldviertel shoes”. He has started several studies (including medicine) but has not completed any. Instead, in 1980 he founded a shoe shop in Lange Gasse in Vienna-Josefstadt, took a share in the Schremser Waldviertler shoe workshop – and thus laid the foundation for the GEA company, which now has more than 50 branches in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The 59-year-old has not only become known for his shoes, furniture and natural mattresses, but also as a “shoe rebel” through his public conflict with the Financial Market Authority (FMA) for his own business and for private financing models (“crowd funding”) in general.

Source: Nachrichten

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