The SPÖ meetings on Tuesday should have been quite violent. Hans Peter Doskozil even offered to withdraw with the words “Then do it yourself, Andi”. The runoff against Andreas Babler will now take place at the party conference in Linz.
A disgraceful meeting marathon followed a stylish exit. The noble part in the SPÖ was delivered by party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner. She pulled out of her defeat – Rendi-Wagner only reached third place in the member survey – the consequences and will no longer stand as a candidate at the party conference on June 3rd. Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig seized on the grassroots democratic straw of a new member survey to prevent Hans Peter Doskozil as the new party leader. The two influential heads of state are now enemies. At some point – after several hours of wrangling – emotions ran so high that Doskozil offered the second-placed Andreas Babler: “Then you do it, Andi! It’s not about posts for me.” At this point, seven state leaders stepped in to stop an escalation. “There are two types of rules in the SPÖ” “There are two types of rules in the SPÖ: the type of Rules that are valid on paper. And the kind of rules that the Viennese always try to invent when it comes to Doskozil,” describes a meeting participant from the Doskozil camp. Another said: “The meeting was just bad.” Vienna’s mayor is said to have put on a mischievous permanent grin – he was clearly happy to force Doskozil into a runoff election. New alliance Ludwig – Babler For this he forms a new alliance with Andreas Babler. Apparently there were preliminary talks for the presidium meeting. Vienna’s mayor massively supported Babler’s desire to postpone the party congress to allow the 148,000 SPÖ members to vote in a runoff. His positioning has “nothing to do with rifts within the party,” said Ludwig after the meeting, but “you have to be very careful when selecting personnel so that the new party leader is supported by a broad majority.” No solution was found in the presidium meeting, the decision had to be made by the party executive. With a majority of 25:22 votes, those who did not want a member survey prevailed. A run-off election at the party congress decides who will be elected party leader. This makes it clear: the third part of the power struggle has begun.
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