Ex-KPÖ leader Baier is the left’s top candidate for the EU election

2024-02-24 18:40:42

The European Left is heading into the European election campaign with former KPÖ leader Walter Baier as its top candidate. The 70-year-old Austrian has also been head of the European Left Party since 2022. He was elected as the top candidate at a general meeting of the party in Ljubljana on Saturday, the party announced. With 37 MPs, the Left is currently the smallest parliamentary group in the European Parliament; the KPÖ is not represented in the EU Parliament.

An election manifesto was also adopted at the party conference, which sets the following priorities for the EU election campaign: living standards and housing, climate crisis, civil rights and diversity, peace and democracy as well as public services and social rights.

The strongest member parties of the Left Group in the EU Parliament are “Die Linke” from Germany, the French left-wing party “La France insoumise” (LFI) and Podemos from Spain. The top candidates are also informally candidates for the post of EU Commission President. But this has only worked once so far, when Jean-Claude Juncker from Luxembourg was elected head of the EU Commission as the conservatives’ top candidate in 2014.

Baier was the only candidate in the run-up to the election. The top candidates of the Left in Germany are party leader Martin Schirdewan together with the non-party refugee and climate activist Carola Rackete.

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