‘Jelly politics’ attack as Kogler named Styrian Greens front runner

Greens Graz Vice Mayor Lisa Rücker claimed the big two parties would make “wobbly jelly politics” as her party named Werner Kogler front runner for autumn’s provincial election.MP Kogler was revealed as the party’s top candidate for the 26 September vote after Jörg Martin Willnauer surprisingly resigned.Willnauer announced over the weekend he had decided not to run as front runner despite being nominated for the post last year. “I found it was impossible to introduce a new way of making politics in such a short period,” he explained.Kogler said today (Mon) he would focus on Styria if the party managed to significantly gain votes in the September election. The Greens dropped from 5.61 per cent in 2000 to 4.7 per cent in the most recent provincial elections which took place in 2005.Greens Graz Vice Mayor Lisa Rücker praised the decision to nominate Kogler. “He is the right choice. Some fresh air and upright politics can be expected from him [Kogler],” she said.Rücker also attacked the ruling Social Democrats (SPÖ) and their main rivals, the People’s Party (ÖVP) for “making wobbly jelly politics”.Kogler made clear he would not give up his responsibilities as Greens deputy whip in the federal parliament in Vienna until election day.Asked for his goals in the provincial election he said: “We want to avoid many frustrated voters turning to the [right-wing opposition Freedom Party] FPÖ.”Kogler claimed it would make no difference to him whether the SPÖ or the ÖVP come first as analysts see the parties neck-and-neck.The Social Democrats came first in the 2005 election with 42 per cent. They increased their share by 10 per cent, while the ÖVP dropped from 47 per cent to 39 per cent. The FPÖ suffered losses of around seven per cent and won just 4.6 per cent.SPÖ Governor Franz Voves recently revealed he would resign if the ÖVP of Hermann Schützenhöfer comes first.”If we don’t remain the strongest party, there will be no Franz Voves in politics anymore,” he said in an interview.Federal SPÖ bosses have reportedly put little hope in a Voves victory. The party suffered losses in all of the previous 11 provincial or federal elections.SPÖ chiefs rather expect a boost for themselves with victory of former SPÖ MP Heinz Fischer in the presidential election later this month.Fischer, who is running as an independent candidate, has the support of the SPÖ and 70 to 80 per cent in polls.Other crucial upcoming elections are the provincial Burgenland elections in May and the Vienna city elections in autumn. The SPÖ rules with an absolute majority in both of these provincial parliaments.