Plans for No Confidence Vote Against Climate Minister Collapse

Plans for No Confidence Vote Against Climate Minister Collapse

Austria’s conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) will not support the motion of no confidence against Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler, a top ÖVP official announced on Tuesday.

The Social Democrats (SPÖ), the largest opposition faction in the Austrian parliament, had already declared they would not back the move initiated by the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ).

“The members of the parliamentary group have unanimously decided not to support the opposition’s motion of no confidence,” said ÖVP parliamentary group leader August Wöginger.

The decision means the vote will not go through.

The controversy over Gewessler erupted last month after the Green Party minister defied the ÖVP’s objections by pledging to cast Austria’s vote in favour of adopting a European nature restoration law. The Green Party is the junior coalition partner in Austria’s ÖVP-dominated government.

Austria’s Climate Minister Backs EU Nature Law Despite Political Uncertainty

In response, the ÖVP said it would file a criminal complaint against Gewessler for failing to obtain the legally required agreement of the party-run Agriculture Ministry.

Gewessler argued she did not need to seek such permission.

“It is clear to the ÖVP that Minister Gewessler’s behaviour regarding the rewilding law constitutes a breach of law,” Wöginger said after a meeting of the ÖVP parliamentary group in Vienna. “Therefore, it was important and correct for the party to file a complaint against the minister. However, we will not plunge the country into chaos just 90 days before the election.”

Austria is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on September 29, with the FPÖ poised to secure the top spot.

FPÖ head and parliamentary leader Herbert Kickl has described Gewessler as an “arbitrary minister,” asserting that the vote of no confidence against her was a “matter of conscience” for each of the 71 ÖVP MPs.

Photo: Parlamentsdirektion/Thomas Topf

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