The oö. FPÖ boss LHStv. Manfred Haimbuchner is often traded as the FPÖ personnel reserve for the federal government. In an interview with the APA, however, he emphasized that he would stay in Linz and defend second place in the state elections in 2021. He announced compliance rules for clubs close to the FPÖ, defended club chairman Herbert Kickl against allegations of having divulged a raid and advocated FFP masks for risk groups – although he was not a fan of mouth and nose protection.
Haimbuchner is the top candidate for the state elections. He will assume his responsibility “in 2021 and beyond” in Upper Austria. There will be a few new faces on the candidate lists, but overall you will be competing “with a proven team”. The goals: to stay in second place and more than 20 percent – in 2015 it was just under 30.4 percent. He strives for a continuation of black and blue. The partnership had proven its worth and, given the economic problems, broad cooperation would make sense. “You have to ask the ÖVP” whether it really comes to that. In his opinion, the system of proportional representation in Upper Austria should also remain in place.
For the state election, the FPÖ will be thematically broad and “present in a surprising form”, announced Haimbuchner. He is pleased that the ÖVP – also in Upper Austria – recently threw a classic FPÖ topic into the ring with political Islam: That would – like the plans of the federal government after the terrorist attack in Vienna – show “that the FPÖ with their proposals are correct “.
In detail, Haimbuchner would even go as far as revoking citizenship from Austrians without dual citizenship in terrorist offenses. “Then you lose the associated rights and that’s more than symbolism.” He also wants to talk about “how we can get such individuals out of our country”. “I would not interfere with the principles of the Human Rights Convention in any way,” he emphasized, but the case law has “led to very absurd and incomprehensible results”. He also does not see that fundamental rights and freedoms are restricted – possibly the “absolute surveillance state” or the gun law tightened – because some are trying to undermine the state with terror. Those who act against the western world of values should go where they believe they can realize their values, “and when it is in the Gobi desert”.
Haimbuchner’s recipe against threats in the country is intelligence surveillance. “If that had been taken seriously in this case, the attack in Vienna would have been prevented.” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) has political responsibility here. That also means admitting mistakes and apologizing for them. On the other hand, he could “actually not recognize errors made by FPÖ club chairman Herbert Kickl in connection with the secret operation” Ramses “or” Luxor “. Kickl “certainly did not reveal the raid”. In view of the number of informants, one should rather ask oneself whether “it was not known for much longer that raids should take place”.
Even if Haimbuchner is always said to be no friend of the Kickl line within the party, no direct criticism comes from his lips. Two camps around federal party leader Norbert Hofer and Kickl “do not exist in the FPÖ”, perhaps “sometimes a different approach to communication”. He doesn’t like the word double top.
The subject of Strache has now been concluded for him, now it is the turn of the judiciary. The party’s internal reform process is about “improving the structure of the FPÖ. That we no longer have to witness these wave movements of the past 20 years.” The compliance group he heads is “almost finished”. The results are to be discussed in a retreat with federal and state organizations; the decision-making process is planned for this year. There is still no look into the folder that is “locked in the box”, just as follows: “It is a set of rules that was first created for a political party or organization.” The result will be “state of the art”. It includes “all members who are in functions” and “of course it is also about clubs or any strange constructions”.
In the corona crisis, he sharply criticized the crisis management of the health ministry of his former state government colleague Rudolf Anschober (Greens): They did not use the summer there to protect risk groups, which is “central to fighting a pandemic”. “I am partly stunned by the way things have been approached.” The big problems in the hospitals would result “from the failures in the old people’s and nursing homes”. Haimbuchner would use FFP masks to protect high-risk groups and in sensitive areas instead of closing shops or schools. He does not want a mandatory vaccination, which his government partner LH Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP) has demanded: “I am an explicit opponent of mandatory vaccination, but I am not an opponent of vaccinations,” he emphasized. He was vaccinated against many things himself, but he would not be vaccinated against Corona.