New presidential election for Austria!

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2016-07-01 11:55

Austria's highest court on Friday ordered a rerun of the country's presidential election, giving Norbert Hofer (FPÖ - left) a second chance at the office after his narrow loss last month.

The decision was unprecedented in Austria's post-war history and beyond, appearing to be the first time that a nationwide election has been annulled and a repeat vote called in any European Union country.

The ruling, announced by Constitutional Court chief judge Gerhart Holzinger, represents a victory for the Freedom Party, which challenged the May 22 runoff on claims of widespread irregularities. But it also has wider implications that encompass other European countries.

With Britain's pending departure from the European Union, a win by Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer would boost not only his party but also kindred movements in France, the Netherlands and elsewhere lobbying for less EU power or outright exits from the European Union.

Those parties had already hailed Hofer's strong showing in May as proof of a surge in pan-European anti-EU sentiment.

While Austrian referendums are decided by parliament and not by the president, a win by Hofer could increase pressure in the country for a popular vote on whether Austria should stay within the EU.

After last week's pro-exit vote in Britain, he said he could see the need for such a referendum within a year "if the Union develops wrongly."

That time would come, he said, if the EU "develops into a centralistic Union instead of returning to the original basic values."

Following is a reaction and message from Norbert Hofer taken from his Facebook page:

Dear Friends!
Today is an important day for the future of our homeland Austria.
I can promise you that I will bring my entire personality to the coming election campaign.
For me, this means that I maintain a respectful dealing with my competitors, but also to point out that I am the candidate that is uncompromisingly for the interests of Austria and its people. I love this country, and I'm ready to serve it with all my strength.
Only a strong Austria ensures a positive future in a common Europe that needs an urgent course correction. I'm determined to win this election. Now it's for every single voice to fight.
With your help, we will achieve great things. For our children and for our Austria!
Norbert Hofer


Norbert Hofer



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