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Far Left Wins in Austria

Alexander Van der Bellen, Austria's far left "independent" candidate (he was financed by the Greens), achieved a narrow victory last night over Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party. This fight is notable since it marks the first time that the far left and "far right" in Austria beat the mainstream parties to face off against each other. It also gives the Green Party a lot of strength for the more important legislative election in 2018. The President of Austria is not very powerful and functions as more of a figurehead.

From the BBC:
Mr Van der Bellen, a pro-EU independent backed by the Greens, beat Mr Hofer by just 31,000 votes among the 4.64m cast.
The president-elect vowed to address the "divisions" among Austrians that the poll had "made visible".
Mr Hofer's campaign had targeted anti-EU feelings and fears about migrants. He said his defeat was a "sad day".
The Freedom Party candidate said on his Facebook page (in German): "Please don't be disheartened. The effort in this election campaign is not wasted, but is an investment for the future."
The interior ministry said Mr Van der Bellen had won 2,254,484 votes to Mr Hofer's 2,223,458, or 50.3% to 49.7%.
Hofer had a 2% lead earlier in the night with 98 or 99 percent of the vote counted. A last minute surge from postal votes gave Van der Bellen his victory.

Besides his outspoken views in favor of gay marriage and other liberal programs, Van der Bellen has called it a social duty to accept Islamic refugees into Austria.

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1 comment:

  1. Disappointing results... especially considering how narrow the loss was, but I suspect Hofer will be back.



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