Austria: Curious candidates for the election of the Federal President – politics

All sorts of candidates are lining up to defeat incumbent Van der Bellen on Sunday: right-wing populists, a conspiracy believer, the founder of the Beer Party. About a partly abstruse election campaign.


Catherine Kahlweit, Vienna

The word of the year 2016 in Austria had to be divided into several sections in order to be able to understand it at all: “Federal President’s runoff re-election postponement” it said. And it meant the following: Two candidates for the office of Federal President, the longtime leader of the Greens Alexander Van der Bellen and the FPÖ politician Norbert Hofer, came to the runoff six years ago. The result, an unexpectedly narrow victory for Van der Bellen, was overturned by the Constitutional Court after the FPÖ filed an action to challenge the election. A repeat was supposed to take place in October, but then there were problems with the envelopes for the postal vote, which didn’t really want to stick – which is why the runoff election was postponed again by weeks.

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