Beate Meinl-Reisinger Re-elected as NEOS Leader with 91% of Votes

Beate Meinl-Reisinger Re-elected as NEOS Leader with 91% of Votes

 

TOBIAS STEINMAURER
TOBIAS STEINMAURER

Beate Meinl-Reisinger was re-elected as NEOS party leader on Saturday with 91 percent of the vote. There was no opposing candidate during the election, which is required by the party statutes every three years, held in the Meinl-Rösthalle in Vienna-Ottakring. In 2021, the 46-year-old received 92.9 percent of the delegates’ votes. “I am so motivated, so full of energy for the coming months,” said the newly re-elected party leader, rallying the party for the national parliamentary campaign.

Meinl-Reisinger had already been chosen as the top candidate for the national parliamentary election on April 20 at a member meeting in Graz with 93.4 percent of the vote. In her speech following her re-election in Vienna, she urged the party to be ambitious for the September 29 election. “We didn’t need to establish ourselves just to be a minor junior partner.”

She didn’t hold back on criticism of political rivals in her speech. A known red line is the FPÖ – “the Öxit arsonists” – but that’s not the only one. “Another red line for us is the introduction of more taxes,” she said, mainly addressing the Social Democrats, who “always want more taxes.”

As expected, there was no praise for the ruling parties. “This is the worst of both worlds,” Meinl-Reisinger said. The only reason the black-green government still exists is to “secure positions and protect their own interests.” The government’s failure to address “anti-performance” attitudes, a core NEOS issue, and lower taxes was another focus. She aimed her message at the unions, stating, “It doesn’t help workers if they have to pay over 40 percent in taxes.”

Meinl-Reisinger also called for reducing party funding and replacing it with genuine media support. She told party members that if NEOS had not been founded over ten years ago, she would do it today: “Without us, nothing will change; Austria needs NEOS more than ever.”

Christoph Wiederkehr, Vienna’s deputy mayor, was elected as Meinl-Reisinger’s deputy with 88 percent, and Claudia Gamon, the state chairwoman of Vorarlberg, with 79 percent. Markus Hofer was elected as finance officer, with Sepp Schellhorn as his deputy, both unopposed. The board is completed by National Council member Yannick Shetty and JUNOS federal chairwoman Sophie Wotschke, who prevailed over Arlette Zakarian and Stephan Mittelbach. The new board confirmed Douglas Hoyos as secretary-general and Claudia Jäger as federal managing director.

The meeting concluded with the election of the ten-member extended board, which includes National Council members Stephanie Krisper and Fiona Fiedler and new EU delegate Anna Stürgkh.

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