9. Premature goodbyes

by Dr. Hellwig Valentin. From the book: "Der Sonderfall. Kärntner Zeitgeschichte 1918-2004/08", 2009, 2nd edition, Klagenfurt/Laibach-Ljubljana/Wien (Hermagoras-Verlag).

Translation by Liz Finney 

Wagner was however neither the first nor last Carinthian state governor to leave his office before time. During the period of the first republic all Carinthian heads of government had to step down for different reasons before their term of office expired. The first Carinthian state governor after 1945, Hans Piesch, left his post after just under two years, after which he was accused by Yugoslavia of having  cooperated with the Nazis. Even though the allegations could not be corroborated, the politican accepted the consequences in order not to  jeopardize the Austrian position on the ongoing state proceedings. State governor Sima was, as already mentioned, a „casualty“ of the place-name sign conflicts. His fellow party members held him responsible for the loss of votes at the local council elections of 1973 and passed a vote of no confidence in him. A positive validation of the employment policy during the period of national socialism brought state governor Haider notoriety in 1991 after a term of only two years in office. His accidental death during his second term of office in Autumn 2008 is mentioned in Chapter 11. 

Another peculiarity is the strange business of the comeback of the former state governor to a position at the head of the state. Arthur Lemisch, the Carinthian state administrator from 1918 to 1921, took on the post of state governor for three years in 1927 on the insistence of his fellow party members, although he had already said farewell to politics. Following the federal state elections in 1999 Jörg Haider returned to the office of state governor, which he had had to vacate eight years earlier. Another „returner“ was Peter Ambrozy, the short-term state governor from 1988-89 and subsequently the deputy state governor. He pulled this off in 2000 after a break of six years from his former deputy state governor office. The subject of top politicians’ frequent comebacks is susceptible to different interpretations: either the supply of personnel with appropriate political personalities is small - or some protagonists find it difficult to leave the political stage once and for all.

10. Red and blue for the first time