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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Lower Austria: Two who don’t like each other before the agreement

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Distant Allies: Mikl-Leitner (VP), Farmer (FP)
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The writer Peter Turrini is leftist and yet highly regarded in Lower Austria; he even made it to the official keynote speaker on the state holiday. Now Turrini is one of the 17 artists who protested against a turquoise-blue pact in a letter to the state governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner. This would leave the “way of togetherness”, she worries.

Resistance won’t help. In St. Pölten everything boils down to an agreement between the ÖVP and the FPÖ; the agreement could be announced in the next few days. The constitutive session of the state parliament will take place next Thursday, by then everything must be fixed.

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From VP circles it was said yesterday that “there are still a few issues to be worked out”. One point of discussion is the processing of the corona pandemic. Udo Landbauer, head of the state party and club for the Freedom Party, called for compensation up to and including a “general amnesty” for fines.

Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) said that from today’s point of view, the obligation to vaccinate was “of course a mistake” – a statement that the farmer was initially too vague.

“Both are remote controlled”

In fact, the ÖVP has no alternative. The bridges to the SPÖ were broken after their designated state party chairman Sven Hergovich had made six conditions. Mikl-Leitner had to fulfill all points, said Hergovich. Before he makes a deal without this content, “I’ll chop off my hand”. As a result, Mikl-Leitner spoke of the “excessiveness” of the red negotiator – and turned to farmers for better or worse.

The turquoise and the blue have not liked each other for years. Landbauer suspects the state governor of having played up the so-called NS songbook affair during the 2018 election campaign – which she denies. Mikl-Leitner, in turn, accused farmers of damaging the state’s reputation.

A Turkish man familiar with the negotiations said yesterday to OÖN that Landbauer and Hergovich were “both remotely controlled from their respective Vienna headquarters”. The blue will do what his federal party chairman Herbert Kickl says. That could mean “all the difficulties in the world”. Nevertheless, VP chief negotiator Klaus Schneeberger believes that the turquoise-blue intersections are big enough for a deal.

Valid and Invalid Votes

It is still uncertain how the election of the provincial governor will proceed. The Freedom Party has always emphasized that they will not vote for Mikl-Leitner in the state parliament on March 23.

The likely solution is that the 14 FPÖ deputies vote invalid. With 23 VP representatives from a total of 56 mandataries, the required majority would have been achieved. Only valid votes count.

The ÖVP will have four members in the new state government, the FPÖ three and the SPÖ two. Like Upper Austria, Lower Austria has a proportional representation system.

Source: Nachrichten

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