Tyrol: Governor Platter before retreat

The surprising news was initially reported by the “Tiroler Tageszeitung” on Sunday evening. ÖVP party groups confirmed the report to ORF Tirol and APA. The state election scheduled for 2023 should be brought forward to autumn, until then Platter apparently wants to remain in office – more on that in tirol.ORF.at.

At the state party executive on Monday, Platter wants to propose the previous state economics councilor Anton Mattle as his successor. The People’s Party wants to vote with the former mayor of Galtür. The 59-year-old was only appointed to the state government last year.

Platter Retreat: Analysis

ORF Tirol Editor-in-Chief Georg Laich talks about the surprising resignation of Günther Platter and his future successor Anton Mattle.

Discussions about the election date

At noon there should be a press conference in the Villa Blanka in Innsbruck, the topic is “current decisions”. Talks are being held with the other parties about possible election dates. A state parliament resolution would be required before the summer for a planned new election in September or October. The next regular state parliament sessions will take place in early July.

Platter’s move may have come as a surprise to the federal party. There was no response to APA’s request on Sunday evening.

In recent months there has been isolated speculation about an early election. Platter, however, denied these, most recently this week by State Education Councilor Beate Palfrader, a close confidant of the state head. In the event of a new election, it was also assumed that Platter himself would go on the offensive and run again as the top candidate. Last year, the former interior and defense minister declared in the course of a government reshuffle that he would vote again for the ÖVP.

Conflicts with green partner

A rethinking of Platter’s considerations is likely to have caused the personnel changes at the coalition partner Greens on the one hand, and on the other hand, above all, internal, consistently poor poll numbers.

The Greens only made an important decision on Saturday. Club chairman Gebi Mair was chosen at a state assembly as the top candidate for the state election. He won against Gabriele Fischer, social affairs councillor, who advocated a more conciliatory and objective course towards the coalition partner.

In terms of content, too, ditches have recently opened up. For example, after a green push for a general speed reduction on the streets. A corresponding statement on the StVO amendment was apparently not coordinated with the ÖVP.

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The ups and downs of the Platter era

Only Eduard Wallnöfer (ÖVP), aged 24, held the post of Governor of the Tyrol longer than Platter. Platter began his political career in the 1980s, first as a local councillor, then as mayor of his home town of Zams. In 1994 he came to Vienna for the first time as a member of the National Council, went back to Tyrol in 2000 as a state councilor for sports and culture, became head of the ÖAAB there and lost to Herwig Van Staa in a contested vote for the party chairmanship, which in turn ushered in his second period in Vienna. From 2003 to 2007 he was Minister of Defense under Wolfgang Bowl (ÖVP), from 2007 to 2008 Minister of the Interior in the cabinet of Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ). There he came under criticism in the wake of the Arigona Zogaj cause. In 2008 Platter replaced Van Staa after his election losses as governor and later also as party leader.

Platter, a trained book printer and gendarme from Zams in the Oberland, has had a number of ups and downs in politics. His greatest political triumph was more than four years ago: in the 2018 state election, the ÖVP gained 4.91 percentage points after an election campaign tailored entirely to the governor, reaching 44.26 percent.

But he also faced a lot of criticism, especially during the pandemic. The management after the CoV outbreaks in Ischgl was torn apart in international negative headlines.

Mattle in state politics since 2003

Platter’s likely successor, Mattle, had entered the state government after former economics councilor Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf (ÖVP) surprisingly resigned. At the time, Platter had praised Mattle to the skies and described, among other things, as a “man with clear values”.

Mattle was born in Platter’s native Zams in 1963. Many got to know him in 1999, when he organized the exceptional situation that lasted several days as the local head of the avalanche catastrophe in Galtür. When the avalanche hit the village, Mattle had been mayor for seven years. Six years earlier, in 1986, at the age of only 23, he was elected vice mayor of the small community in the Tyrolean Paznaun Valley.

APA / EXPA / Johann Groder

Anton Mattle is set to succeed Platter. He has only recently joined the state government.

In 2003, Mattle, who had passed the master’s examination in radio and television engineering in 1989, went into state politics. Since then he has been a member of the Tyrolean state parliament, and ten years later he became the first vice-president of the state parliament. Mattle was also respected across party lines for his calm presidency. This was confirmed after the 2018 state elections, after he was re-elected Vice President by 35 of the 36 mandataries. In that same state election, he also emerged as the “preferential vote emperor”, in his Landeck constituency he got 8,012 personal votes.

In addition to his political work, Mattle acted as managing director of his company Elektro Mattle and managing director of the Alpinarium Galtür, an “exhibition and documentation center for life in the high alpine region”. The 59-year-old is also the deputy head of the Tyrol mountain rescue service.

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