The city council of Graz, Austria’s second largest city, has elected a new mayor. Communist Party member Elke Kahar has become the first communist leader in the country’s major cities.
The 60-year-old politician, who has been working in the municipal government for more than 15 years and previously served as deputy mayor of Graz, was elected new city leader on Wednesday. A member of the Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ, Kommunistische Partei Österreichs) for nearly 30 years, she won the election with 28 votes out of 46. Kahr succeeded longtime mayor Siegfried Nagel, a former center-right, Liberal-Conservative People’s Party.
“Who would have thought that a communist locking daughter would become mayor?He said in his first speech after the vote.
After acknowledging many of the problems facing the city, especially during the Covid-19 epidemic, the new mayor highlighted housing policy, promising to halt profit-based construction in Gunj.
The Communists have already formed alliances with the Greens and the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), and set another example in European city governance – with two women serving as mayor and deputy. Green leader Judith Schweinter, who was elected deputy mayor of Graz, said the new coalition would support not only social but also climate change, especially with the aim of improving the living standards of low-income groups. Her program is to provide bicycles to every child in the city from the municipality.
However, not all local governments are happy with the new communist regime. Alexis Paskutini, a member of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO)Unpleasant“Graz accuses the Communists of empty catchphrase in their program and refuses to participate in what he describes.”Leftist nonsenseKahar has been under intense pressure to justify his party, repeatedly asking about his position.The crime of communist parties around the world since 1917“According to the Austrian media.
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