EUROPENEWSPOLITICS

Mail votes to decide who will take Austrian presidency

Mail votes are to be taken into account and the final result of Austrian presidential election could be announced on Monday.

The race has become unprecedentedly intense on Sunday, both of the right wing candidate and his rival, former head of the green party got around 50 percent of the votes, showing a dead heat in the run-off.

The whole Austria is waiting for the mail ballots, which would be decisive in the breathtaking historic presidential election.

No matter who is becoming the president of the state, this will be the first time since the Second World War that an Austrian president has not been backed by main stream ruling parties.

If the right wing party wins the election, it could be the first right wing president of the state after WWII and might change the political map of Austria or even Europe.

Norbert Hofer, the youngest candidate of the election from the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), the leading runner in the first round of election, is competing with his rival Alexander Van der Bellen, the former chief of green party and an independent candidate but backed by the Green Party. Van der Bellen is also a Russian descendant, growing up in Austria.

Austria president is seen more or less as a ceremonial role of the country but could swear the chancellor and even dismiss the cabinet, the most significant clout which hasn’t been used by presidents after the war.

Hofer said he needs Austrians and would work for them, threatening to dismiss the parliament when necessary.

Hofer servers as an aeronautical engineer, and then became a politician and the third president of Austria’s National Council from 2013.

Representatives of the right-wing FPO, as well as politicians of the Green party are confident that their candidate will win the neck-and-neck race.

“I have never experienced such an exciting election night”, Hofer said on the state television ORF at Sunday evening. “Some have decided this way and some the other way. Ultimately, we are all Austrians. It is up to us to unite the voters. The election winner is president of all Austrians.”

“Political commentators have calculated low chances for a majority for me. However, in the last fortnight I have been borne by many supporters”, Van der Bellen said about his comeback.

“Only a small percentage of voters are politically right-wing. The majority is angry,”the former head of the Green party said about the voters of Hofer.

Some Austrian media said the Eurosceptic, aiti-immigration FPO is supported mostly in the country and by the relatively low educated groups. But in the big city where many migrants live, Van der Bellen might gain more supports.

Electoral analysis institute ARGE revealed that 72 percent of eligible voters participated in voting in the second round of the election, up from 68 percent who voted in the first round on April 24.

The presidential election’s influence is already far beyond Austria, a small central European states with about 8.5 million population, but carefully monitored by other EU states, even by the world.

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