The Austrians will return to the polls to elect a president after an unprecedented coup de theater: the invalidation of the election. This unprecedented decision opens the way for a new duel between extreme right and environmentalists
The Austrians will return to the polls to elect a president after an unprecedented bombshell. Invalidation of the election. The Constitutional Court, the highest court of the country has vindicated yesterday the appeal of extreme right FPÖ party challenging the regularity of presidential elections after the defeat of the extreme right candidate Norbert Hofer, 45, beaten by ecologist Alexander Van der Bellen, 72. No fraud or manipulation of the vote on May 22 have been found but an accumulation of negligence in the count, which vitiate the result.
The first consequence of this completely new story in this small Republic 8.7 million inhabitants, and in the EU: a new election will be held, probably in autumn
the repetition of an extremely tight duel looks between the two candidates. that only 30,863 votes had separated, in a European context heckled by the outcome of the British referendum.
the future of Austria in the EU could emerge as one of the subjects of the short coming campaign. The FPÖ, one of the extreme right parties from more established Continent electorally, campaigning as the French National Front, a Europe “à la carte”.
The party has never claimed at all costs a referendum on the country’s membership in the EU but has recently hardened its stance, demanding reforms of the functioning of the Union.
an interim head of state
Second consequence: Mr Van der Bellen, who was to take office Friday, July 8, will be invested
the interim head of state will be provided by the collegiate. president and two vice presidents of the National Council, the lower house of parliament, which include … Mr. Hofer.
the Supreme court, which heard more than 60 witnesses in two weeks’ public hearings, confirmed that tens of thousands of postal voting bulletins had been stripped or outside the legal hours, without the required supervision, a practice hitherto widely tolerated. “We’ve always done it” had justified the heads of polling stations questioned by judges. “The electoral regulations must be adhered strictly to the letter,” recalled Friday Gerhart Holzinger, President of the Constitutional Court. For the Social Democratic chancellor Christian Kern, the important thing is that there was “no electoral fraud.”
A new turn in 2nd fall
This unprecedented decision opens the way for new elections, probably in the fall. The second round of elections “should be organized again throughout Austria”, said Gerhart Holzinger, President of the highest court of the country during the reading of the decision. “This decision is intended to strengthen confidence in our rule of law and democracy,” said the judge, explaining that the cancellation was “neither winner nor loser.”