Frank Engel is a man with many faces and many talents. He was unfortunate at the CSV, where he held the presidency for just over two years, and the separation was painful. Today he will present his own political party to the public, and he has already found comrades-in-arms.
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The last time we spoke to Frank Engel, he was still president of the CSV and wanted it to become relevant again. It was mid-January last year and the CSV congress, at which a president was to be elected, was just around the corner. Somehow even then, one sensed that the headwind against Engel from within his own party, but above all from within the parliamentary group, was becoming increasingly fierce. The latter seemed unsure whether he should even run again for his own succession.
At that time, the "circle-of-friends"-affair was not even an issue, but the constant adversity from the party leadership made Engel visibly uncomfortable. Since the very beginning, the leadership had never really accepted its party president and had relied on Serge Wilmes, who was rather staid in comparison. A few months earlier, the CSV leader Engel had even been recalled by his party after he had put forward some ideas on the introduction of an inheritance and wealth tax in an interview without having consulted his party colleagues first.
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