The 65-year-old headed the party between autumn 2016 and spring 2018.
Gabriele Sprickler-Falschlunger is to take over the leadership of the Vorarlberg Social Democrats again. The 65-year-old general practitioner confirmed a corresponding report by the “Vorarlberger Nachrichten” to the APA on Monday morning. Sprickler-Falschlunger had already acted as state party chairman between autumn 2016 and spring 2018, now she jumps into the breach again as a compromise candidate: “I have an intact relationship with everyone,” she said.
In order for Sprickler-Falschlunger to be able to compete at the party congress on next Saturday (October 16), they say it needs a two-thirds majority of the delegates present. Your task as party leader will be the same as the first time – namely to find a suitable personality for her successor, who will also stand as the top candidate in the state election in 2024. In this regard, however, there are still talks to be held in the party executive, said Sprickler-Falschlunger.
In the Vorarlberg SPÖ, a power struggle has been raging for weeks to succeed the current party chairman Martin Staudinger, whom Sprickler-Falschlunger pulled out of his hat in 2018. Staudinger himself is stepping down from the party leadership because he was elected mayor of the Lake Constance municipality of Hard in autumn 2020 and – as promised in the election campaign – he wants to concentrate on this task.
The club chairman Thomas Hopfner, who was brought into play by Staudinger – without consulting the party – as his successor met with resistance from the largest local SPÖ organizations in Vorarlberg, and there was recently a “wiretapping affair” within the party, which could have legal consequences . Last week, the party had presented four candidates for the party congress: In addition to Hopfner (56), Alp Sanlialp (24), Robert Bedjanic (46) and Angelika Mayr (37) wanted to run for party chairmanship. If Sprickler-Falschlunger’s candidacy goes through, other candidates may be waived.
“My decision was significantly influenced by the fact that many leading officials approached me with this request. I have already informed the other candidates,” said Sprickler-Falschlunger. It is the wish of everyone in the SPÖ to “finally concentrate on content again and put personal sensitivities in the background”. She is convinced that she will be able to fill in the rifts that have been torn open in the party in recent weeks and months, “so that we can work together on the most urgent problems.”
Sprickler-Falschlunger’s political career goes back to the year 2000 (city representative in Dornbirn). From 2009 to 2019 she was a member of the Vorarlberg state parliament. After the end of the legislative period, she said goodbye to politics. The 65-year-old still runs her practice in Dornbirn.