Linz (dpa) – In Austria, an extraordinary federal party conference of the Social Democrats to elect a new party leader began on Saturday. The former Minister of Defense and Prime Minister of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil, kicked things off with a deliberately thoughtful and self-critical speech.
The SPÖ and its officials may have lost contact with their electoral clientele, said the 52-year-old in front of around 600 delegates in Linz. “Perhaps we have forgotten how to serve the interests of the population.” In addition, in the past the SPÖ had made itself comfortable in coalitions in terms of power politics instead of pushing for the implementation of their election goals.
In addition to Doskozil, the mayor of Traiskirchen, Andreas Babler, is also applying for party leadership. Babeler is a representative of the left wing of the SPÖ. Party member Berthold Felber also stood for election at short notice.
The party congress is the provisional conclusion of a long internal party discussion about the leadership qualities of the previous chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner. In a member survey on the question of party leadership a few weeks ago, the 52-year-old doctor only came third behind Doskozil and Babler. As a consequence, she announced her withdrawal from politics and did not appear at the party conference on Saturday.
Linz | SPÖ party conference to elect a party leader begins
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