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Austria on a far-right path


Austria

Austria on a far-right path

Austria’s presidential election second-round runoff takes place on Sunday (May 22).

In last month’s first round, voters demonstrated the extent of their dissatisfaction with traditional parties.

Austria’s populist right-wing, anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPO) won a landslide victory in April.

Taking home 35.1 percent of the ballot, the party scored its best-ever result in a national vote.

FPO leader Norbert Hofer rode to victory on an anti-Islam, anti-immigration, eurosceptic
platform.

He will face independent candidate and former leader of Austria’s Green Party Alexander Van der Bellen in Sunday’s second round.

The ruling coalition’s centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPO) failed to reach the second round.

Chancellor quits

Earlier this month former railway boss Christian Kern was sworn in as Austria’s new chancellor.

He replaced Werner Faymann who was also leader of the beleaguered SPO.

Faymann recently decided to introduce border controls on Austria’s side of the Brenner Pass crossing into Italy.

Euronews reporter Julian Lopez is in the Austrian capital Vienna.

“Austrians have been called to the ballot box. In the first round of the presidentials, abstention stood at around 31 percent. Local analysts say that the result of Sunday’s election will constitute a ‘before and an after’ in Austria’s recent political history.”

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