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Surprise decisions in Rhodesia: Stefan Schmidt-Louw new Vice President with Alexander Freudig as Prime Minister

10-04-2021 12:08 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Government of Rhodesia

New Vice President Stefan Schmidt-Louw

New Vice President Stefan Schmidt-Louw

The Rhodesian government's cabinet meeting today ended with unexpected results. After the announced resignation of Premier Harald Mayer-Blumenthal for reasons of age, it had been expected that his office as Prime Minister would be staffed with a politician of the younger generation after October 21st.

However, the RIS Security Council and President Harper presented a different solution, which may have come as a surprise, especially to Deputy Prime Minister Stefan Schmidt-Louw who was considered the likely successor of Harald Mayer Blumenthal. This is because, as part of a swap of offices, Vice President Alexander Freudig has taken over as Prime Minister. In return, Stefan Schmidt-Louw will become Vice President of the Republic of Rhodesia and at the same time Minister of Defense.

New Vice President Stefan Schmidt-Louw and Prime Minister Freudig thanked the RIS Security Council as well as President Harper for the trust placed in them.

For Stefan Schmidt-Louw in particular, this means an enormous increase in power. The appointment of Schmidt-Louw, who is considered reactionary and uncompromising, as Vice President and Minister of Defense is seen by observers of Rhodesian politics as a shift to the far right. Stefan Schmidt-Louw, a former pilot with the Rhodesian Armed Forces, is considered an advocate of autonomy efforts even for those Rhodesian settlement areas that are currently still administered jointly with a host nation. In the past, he has been considered a proponent of an offensive intervention policy and one of the architects of the current military doctrine.

Appointing Alexander Freudig as Prime Minister is also consistent with a more authoritarian policy. Freudig is widely regarded as an ultraconservative, especially on social policy issues. Schmidt-Louw and Freudig are known to hold identical views. "The Republic of Rhodesia is moving towards further consolidation with these two men in the highest circle of leadership", President Harper emphasized. He said he was looking forward to working with the new Vice President whom he promoted to General of the Air Force at the end of the meeting in accordance with the RIS Security Council.

The cabinet ended its meeting with good wishes for Harald Mayer-Blumenthal.

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