Mario Ferrari-Brunnenfeld, the former Freedom Party member who once referred to Joerg Haider as a ´mini-dictator´, has died. He was 69.
Born in Klagenfurt on 23 May 1932, the older son, he attended High School in Klagenfurt before following in his father´s footsteps and entering the medical profession, studying at the University of Graz before moving to his first medical posting in Feldbach in Styria.
At the end of the 60s he returned to Carinthia and assumed a post at the regional hospital in Klagenfurt as a specialist in emergency surgery. His official entrance into the political arena took place in 1973 when he was elected the Freedom Party representative on the Klagenfurt Local Council. Two years later he made the move to the National Advisory Council and was responsible for the Department of Tourism and Trade. In the same year he was elected to be the national chairman of the Carinthian Freedom Party.
In 1983, after Joerg Haider was elected National Party chairman, Ferrari-Brunnenfeld made the move to Federal Government and was appointed under-secretary of State for Health - a position he held until 1987. After clashing several times with Haider over policy issues, he resigned from the Freedom Party in February 1989, referring to Haider as a ´mini-dictator´.
Ferrari-Brunnenfeld however did not remove himself completely from the political arena and in 1992 was the joint founder of the Free Democratic Party of Austria (FDP). He withdrew from the Party in 1994 after claiming that the LIF boss at the time Heide Schmidt, was developing a management policy close to that of Haider.