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The Libertarians
President Pius Leintner
Secretary Ulli Mair
Founded 7 December 1992
Headquarters Via della Chiesa 62
Terlan (BZ)
Newspaper none
Membership unknown
Ideology Liberalism, Nationalism, National liberalism
International affiliation none
European affiliation none
European Parliament Group currently no MEPs
Coalition none
Website
http://www.die-freiheitlichen.com/
Politics of Italy
Political parties
Elections

The Libertarians (Die Freiheitlichen) is a liberal and nationalist political party in the Italian province of Bolzano-Bozen committed to the German-speaking minority.

Its leader is Pius Leitner and its ideology is similar to that of the Freedom Party of Austria, especially under the leadership of Jörg Haider, and of the Alliance for the Future of Austria: a mix of liberalism and nationalism.

Contents

History

In 1992 a group of young right-wingers led by the so-called "gang of four", including Christian Waldner, former leader of the Junge Generation (the youth section of the South Tyrolean People's Party, SVP), Peter Paul Reiner, Pius Leitner and Stephan Gurweniger, left SVP. They were soon joined by disgruntled former members of the Freedom Party of South Tyrol (FPS), who were marginalized after the merger in the far right Union for South Tyrol (UfS).

On 7 December 1992 they launched the new party in December of that year. In doing this they were strongly encouraged by Jörg Haider, at the time leader of the Freedom Party of Austria, as the name chosen for the party reflects.[1] Gerold Meraner, former leader of FPS who had been a founding member of UfS, considered the new party as the legitimate heir of his FPS.[2]

Under the leadership of Waldner the party won 6.1% of the vote in the 1993 provincial election and got two provincial deputies elected, Waldner and Leitner. Soon after the election, there were clashes over the party political line between Waldner, who expoused more nationalist attidudes, and Leitner, who was the leader of the internal liberal faction. This finally led Waldner to resign in 1994 and to start his own short-lived party, "Liberals" (renamed "Alliance 98" in 1996).[1]

In February 1997 Waldner was shot dead by his former political ally Reiner, who instead remained a leading member of The Libertarians.[3] This dramatic event was a shock for the party and led it into a decline which seemed irreversible. In the 1998 provincial election the party's share of vote was only 2.5% and Leitner alone was elected in the Provincial Council.[4]

Since then, however, the party started its resurgence which was completed in 2003, when it jumped to 5.0% in the provincial election and managed to elect two provincial deputies again: Leitner and Ulli Mair, a young woman who had been party secretary since 2001.[5]

In the 2006 general election The Libertarians obtained 5.4%[6], while in the 2008 general election the party won the 9.4% of the vote.[7] In the subsequent provincial election, The Libertarians became the second-largest party in the Province with the 14.3% of the vote and had five provincial deputies elected.

Popular support

The electoral results of the party in the Province of Bolzano since 1992 are shown in the table below.

1993 provinc. 1994 general 1994 European 1996 general 1998 provinc. 1999 European 2001 general 2003 provinc. 2004 European 2006 general 2008 general 2008 provinc. 2009 European
6.1 - - - 2.5 - - 5.0 - 5.4 9.4 14.3 -

Leadership

  • President: Christian Waldner (1992–1994), Pius Leitner (1994–...)
  • Secretary: Ullia Mair (2001–...)

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.uibk.ac.at/politikwissenschaft/mitarbeiterinnen/pallaver/pdf/pallaver_561-600.pdf
  2. ^ Oswald Angerer: Die Freiheitlichen Südtirols : Entstehung, Programm, Organisationsstruktur, Akzeptanz ; unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer Zusammenarbeit mit der Freiheitlichen Partei Österreichs und ihres Standpunktes in der Südtirol-Frage / Innsbruck, Univ., Dipl.-Arb., 2000, p. 39
  3. ^ http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/1997/febbraio/22/omicida_ideologo_degli_Schuetzen_co_0_97022211675.shtml
  4. ^ http://www.provinz.bz.it/vote/landtag98/landtag_i.htm
  5. ^ http://www.provinz.bz.it/vote/2003/risultati_provincia.htm
  6. ^ http://www.provinz.bz.it/vote/parl2006/camerprov_li_vg.htm
  7. ^ http://www.elezioni.bz.it/camerprov_li_vg.htm


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