Monday, May 23, 2016

Austria: the new president wants to represent the country “in all its diversity” – Le Monde

The ecologist Alexander Van der Bellen made  a statement after the announcement of his victory  Monday, May 23

Thirty-one thousand standard voice for a second round thriller. After a very close election, Sunday, May 22, Alexander Van der Bellen won the Austrian presidential election with 50.3% of the vote against the candidate of the extreme right, Norbert Hofer.

On Sunday night, after the counting of ballots in the ballot boxes, Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) had a lead of 144,000 votes on Mr Van der Bellen (51.9% against 48.1%). But it was not until the counting of ballots (750,000 ballots, or about 14% of the electorate, a record) for the two candidates. Monday afternoon, shortly before the official results, Mr. Hofer has conceded defeat in a message posted on Facebook

Read the portrait of Alexander Van der Bellen. Austria : the ecologist candidate fragile bulwark against the far right

a country polarized

the ecologist candidate, the underdog by pollsters, has received renewed participation, an increase (72%), to block the far right, whose candidate was easily won the first round on April 24, with 35% of the vote against 21% for Alexander Van der Bellen.

“it can be very different and behave respectfully towards each other” , he wanted to reassure on Monday in his first speech after his victory:

“I learned during my childhood that can be very different and still live together. I’ll try to win the trust of Norbert Hofer voters because good solutions must be found together. Many spoke of the dividing lines in the country between high and low, young and old … but we can also say that we are the same, that we are two halves that are equally important as the other . “

” We must now deal with Austria in all its diversity “, he said.

Read also: the presidential election reveals the bias of Austria

the FPÖ made his best score

with this narrow defeat, the FPÖ however realizes his best score in a national election, riding the migration crisis that saw 90,000 people apply for asylum in the country in 2015, more than 1% of the population.

Mr. Hofer, an affable and civilized MP refrained from openly xenophobic excesses that had the mark of his party in the past, focusing his speech on the purchasing power. He has collected the votes nearly one voter in two and won the majority of rural areas.

He seduced the majority of male voters (54%) and without a diploma of the second degree ( 58%), so that the workers (70%). Mr Van der Bellen, for its part managed to attract young voters (56%) and over 50 (51%).

However, for the other categories, “we can not speak of sociological gap, votes are nuanced “ reports Florian Oberhuber, the SORA Institute for Agence France-Presse. “The main gap is political, around issues such as the EU, refugees, confidence in the system” , said political analyst Thomas Hofer.

New Chancellor

the social Democratic party (SPÖ) and conservative (ÖVP), in power since the second World war, suffered a historic defeat in the first round. Chancellor Werner Faymann, the Social Democratic Party, resigned between the two towers and was replaced by the head of the national company of railways, Christian Kern.

The Social Democratic welcomed to have in the person of the new President “a partner for a pro-European policy and open to the world”

Read also:. the extreme right head in the first round of presidential elections in Austria

in Austria, the president is not involved in the daily management of the country but has important powers such as revoke the government, an option that does had not excluded the candidate of the FPÖ “last resort” . Alexander Van der Bellen takes office on July 8th.


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