Party leader Kikl announced Harald Wilimski as the primary candidate in October. Petra Steiger runs for second on the list.
After the SPÖ, the FPÖ is the second party to finalize its candidates for the EU elections. The head of the FPÖ's previous delegation to the EU parliament, Harald Wilimski, was officially announced as the top candidate by the federal party's executive committee on Friday evening – just before the party's traditional New Year's meeting near Graz on Saturday. Former Liberal National Council member Petra Steiger is running second on the list for the June election.
Behind them, former EU mandates George Mayer and Roman Haider follow third and fourth on the list – which are considered safe according to current surveys, as the party announced on Friday evening. Considered a confidant of federal party leader Herbert Kickel, Steiger finished third on the list in the last European elections in 2019, but rejected his mandate in favor of joining the National Council. Since then, Wilimski, Meyer and Haider have sat for the Freedom Party in the EU Parliament. According to polls, the Blues could still win one or two mandates in June's EU elections.
“Addressing Unwanted Development in the European Union”
Only the first four seats in the list were unanimously decided at the federal party executive meeting held on Friday evening. The rest of the list will be finalized later, the party said. “With these four candidates we demonstrate continuity in our patriotic work for the benefit of Austria,” Gicl explained after the decision, according to the broadcast. Now the officially elected top candidate, Wilimski announced that he would “toughen up the EU's undesirable developments, expand our international alliance again, and set the course of EU policy back to normal”.
Party leader Gicl had already nominated Vilimski as the primary candidate in October. The creation of the list is a priority for the Independence Party but still requires the approval of the committees. This was done at a meeting of the federal party's executive committee and the larger party leadership in Cross on Friday evening.
On Saturday, the traditional New Year's gathering will take place in Bremstätten in Schwarzsee near Graz. In Styria, a new state parliament is due to be elected in the autumn. The FPÖ has benefited little from the financial scandal and pending investigations surrounding the Cross Freedom Party. In addition to party leader Kickle, state party leader Mario Kunacek will also address the New Year meeting. Wilimsky will also speak briefly. (APA)