Connect to share and comment

Austrian Haider's daughter says will not run in EU vote

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The daughter of Austria's notorious late far-right leader Joerg Haider announced Tuesday she will not run in European elections next month as planned.

Political newcomer Ulrike Haider-Quercia, who was the top candidate for the Alliance for Austria's Future (BZOe), her father's former party, said she had decided not to stand as she would not be afforded a fair campaign.

"I would not be allowed an independent candidacy free from prejudice," Haider-Quercia said in a statement.

"The wrong image has been painted about me and my party, and I won't accept that," she added, announcing her withdrawal "if only to protect my name and my family".

Haider-Quercia said her decision came after the European Liberal Democrat ALDE party voted to exclude an Austrian MEP who had recently switched to the BZOe.

This "has shattered my belief in a free Europe. I don't want to be a part of a forum where there is such prejudice," she said.

The 37-year-old lawyer and political expert had announced in February her candidacy in the May European elections, calling for EU reforms and alternatives to the euro.

Her candidacy was also an attempt to defend her father's name, following a string of scandals related to dodgy dealings under his governorship of Carinthia province, she said.

Joerg Haider, who died in a drink-driving accident in October 2008, was long Austria's most notorious politician abroad, famously praising Hitler's "orderly" employment policies.

Under his leadership, the BZOe, which he founded, saw some electoral success and even a stint in government, but the party foundered after his death. In September, it even failed to make it into parliament in general elections.

ssw/dh

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140408/austrian-haiders-daughter-says-will-not-run-eu-vote