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C’mon, Let the Habsburg Run for President…

[ 14 ] October 6, 2010 |

I can appreciate why such restrictions were put in place, but I think it’s fair to say that they’ve outlived their utility:

A descendant of the Habsburgs is taking Austria to the European Court for Human Rights for not allowing him to run for president, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Ulrich Habsburg-Lothringen could not become a candidate in April 25 elections because he lacked the required number of signatures and Austrian law bars members of all ruling or former ruling families from running for the largely ceremonial post.
The Habsburg dynasty was once Europe’s most influential royal house and held power from the 13th to the early 20th centuries.
The ban — which only applies to the presidency and is enshrined in the constitution — dates back to 1919 when Austria became a republic after centuries of monarchic rule. It was meant to quash any aspirations to reclaim the throne by members of the former royal family.

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Comments (14)

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  1. DocAmazing says:

    The Austrians aren’t going to take any lip from the Hapsburgs!

  2. wengler says:

    You will rue the day you forgot the scourge that was Albrecht von Wallenstein!

  3. Mojo says:

    Is this the beginning of Restored Monarch Blogging?

  4. Dave S. says:

    Seeing as how the Germans just handed over the last reparations check, there’s a “too soon” vibe about this.

    Plus, he didn’t have enough signatures anyway. Or are you allowed to break a single election law but no more than that?

  5. ploeg says:

    In the interest of fairness, the Habsburgs had the Head of State title for 600+ years, everybody else needs to take a turn.

  6. tenacitus says:

    Maybe if he relinquishes his title there will be no laws keeping him from running. I don’t think the man is serious.

    • John says:

      Assuming he is the Ulrich Habsburg-Lothringen born in 1941, he doesn’t have any titles. His grandfather, Archduke Heinrich Ferdinand, was a member of the imperial house, the fourth son of the last Habsburg grand duke of Tuscany. But Heinrich Ferdinand married unequally in 1919, to a commoner. That meant that his son, Heinrich Habsburg-Lothringen (Ulrich’s father) was not a member of the dynasty, and was not an archduke of Austria. Nor is Ulrich himself.

      All marriages have to be approved by the head of the house for the descendants to be considered members of the dynasty and archdukes of Austria, and to have a claim to the now defunct thrones of Austria and Hungary (and Tuscany, in this case). Ulrich is not the descendant of such a marriage, so he has no titles, even in pretense.

      Interestingly, the German Wikipedia article notes that Ulrich was a candidate of the Greens, not, as you might expect, the Christian Democrats. The Tuscan branch of the family was always more liberal than the other branches, so I suppose this continues that tradition.

  7. Alex says:

    Well, they did take until 1982 to let ex-Empress Zita even land in Austria, by which time it was getting well into “being unnecessary cruel to little old lady” territory.

  8. ajay says:

    Maybe if he relinquishes his title there will be no laws keeping him from running.

    What title? Do you mean his surname? Tricky, in that case.

    He seems to be fairly serious about running: he has a website, at least. (www.ulrich-habsburg-lothringen.at)

    Seeing as how the Germans just handed over the last reparations check, there’s a “too soon” vibe about this.

    Not quite so much of a one, perhaps, as there was about the previous president of Austria, Kurt Waldheim.

  9. Halloween Jack says:

    I probably shouldn’t have looked up the guy’s picture, even though there’s nothing wrong with him physically; he looks like someone you might see slopping up sausage gravy at the local Bob Evans. I had pictured someone with a name like “Ulrich Habsburg-Lothringen” as your stereotypical icy Teutonic blond, sort of like a cut-down Dolph Lundgren, the sort who favors white turtlenecks in all sorts of weather and can’t help but finger one of his own nipples through the cloth even when he’s making a public speech.

  10. [...] via Robert Farley who (rightly) thinks the rule should be repealed. Of course in the annals of bad [...]

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