And it still adorns itself. Heinz-Christian Strache frankly does not want to say it even after a whole series of references and allusions – whether he wants to go back into politics or not. And if so, in what form. But the signs that the ex-long-term FPÖ leader cannot do without politics are now increasing to the point of unambiguity. It was at Strache's most popular communication hub that the legal politician recently became very direct: "It takes a consistent and strong HC Strache list for Vienna," he wrote on Facebook, where he calls himself @HCStracheforever. And added in brackets: "The Alliance for Austria".
The Alliance for Austria (DAÖ) is the so far marginal and rather quirky FPÖ split product that is currently made up of just three FPÖ members from the Vienna State Parliament. Formally, DAÖ is still a parliamentary group in the Vienna State Parliament, but a party is planned. And it was clear from the start that these were die-hard Strache fans who were trying to escape in the conflict with the new leadership of the FPÖ. The withdrawal of the three FPÖ Viennese coincided with Strache's exclusion from the FPÖ last December. On the part of the DAÖ leadership, it was always clear who would like to be the top candidate for the upcoming election: Strache.
But at first he waved it off. And that is rather derogatory: He wants a sustainable project for his return to politics. In the meantime there was talk of Strache wanting to take over the Vienna FPÖ. However, DAÖ did not give up and announced Strache as a speaker at the New Year's meeting of the legal policy project. And Strache? It was covered. Now the turnaround followed: Strache's desire for a "consistent and strong" own list with a reference to the movement.
First the Ibiza video, then related open intrigues between Strache and his then club boss John Gudenus, and finally scandals about excessive expense reports in his time as FPÖ chief – you might think that Strache was politically dead. But like that, too Management disputes within the FPÖ after Strache's exclusion show: The man has his entourage in the party and his followers are also loyal to Strache.
Not surprisingly, his self-proclaimed end on the political stage and his forecast exit into the private sector were short. And the upcoming 2020 Vienna election offers an approved springboard. The election will take place in autumn at the latest, but an earlier date is considered likely. In 2015, the FPÖ, with Alphamännchen Strache at the top of the Vienna List, won 30 percent and inflicted a heavy defeat on the traditionally strong Social Democrats in the capital. Vienna is not considered to point the way for the federal government, but it is a strategically important stepping stone to federal policy.
Accordingly, panic broke out in the ranks of the new FPÖ leadership led by Norbert Hofer and his Vice Herbert Kickl. The two are currently not missing a chance to apprehend Strache's new offenses. In interviews, Kickl spoke of a “document washing machine” operated by Strache, which he called the DAÖ releasers ridiculous. This appearance does not appear particularly serious – after all, Kickl was Secretary General of the Federal FPÖ. For a long time he doesn't want to have noticed anything from Strache's handle. "Very disappointed," he says now.
But there is a reason for fear. Strache's return to politics would very likely lead to one thing: a split in the party.
. (tagsToTranslate) FPÖ (t) Heinz-Christian Strache (t) Austria (t) Right-wing populism