Friday, July 1, 2016

Austria: the presidential election invalid for irregularities – Le Figaro

The Austrian Constitutional Court invalidated the result of irregularities in the second round of the presidential election, played on May 22 that saw the candidate of the FPÖ (far right) Norbert Hofer Fail little face the environmentalist Alexander Van der Bellen.

the Austrians will return to the polls. The second round of the presidential elections of 22 May, which saw the environmentalist Alexander Van der Bellen beat little extreme right candidate Norbert Hofer was struck Friday by the Constitutional Court. The highest court in Austria has identified several irregularities, particularly during the counting of some postal votes. “This decision is intended to strengthen confidence in our rule of law and democracy,” said the judge Gerhart Holzinger, President of the Court, explaining that the cancellation was “neither winner nor loser.” It opens the way for new elections, probably in the fall, when the elected president ultimately will not be invested on July 8 as planned. The second round of elections “should be organized again throughout Austria”, said Gerhart Holzinger.

With 50.3% of votes and 30,863 votes ahead, Alexander Van der Bellen, supported by environmentalists, was narrowly defeated Norbert Hofer their opponents freedom Party of Austria (freedom Party Österreichs, FPÖ), representing the populist right. Both candidates were determined with the ballots, counted on May 23, the day after the election. These votes represented nearly 17% of the vote.

The investigation and the court hearings have confirmed that tens of thousands of ballots from the vote by correspondence had been stripped irregularly, or outside the legal hours, or by unauthorized persons, a practice hitherto widely tolerated. The counting of the votes was allowed only from 9 am on Monday 23 May, but some offices had started earlier in particular.

Accusing the election to be flawed, the FPÖ lodged with the Constitutional Court in early June. This decision of the Court constitutionnnelle therefore a victory for the party. Its leader Heinz-Christian Strache was quick to broadcast the video of the hearing of the judges, on Facebook and Twitter.


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