Alexander Van der Bellen, former head of the Greens, has won the Austrian presidential elections.
This vote was a rerun of May’s elections. The results showed that Mr Van der Bellen narrowly won, but postal vote irregularities were found and undermined the credibility of the process.
The margin in May of 30,000 votes has been increased by ten times.
The vote comes after anti-establishment sentiment has occurred following the victory of Donald Trump in the American President-elections and the UK’s vote to leave the EU. That is why, this election is believed to be a symbol of how well populism develops in Europe.
Referring to the country’s flag, he said a “red-white-red signal of hope and change, a red-white-red signal today goes from Austria to all the capitals of the European Union.
“Finally, you know, I will try to be an open-minded, a liberal-minded and first of all a pro-European federal president of the Republic of Austria.”
The new president is a 72 years old economics professor.
His immigration policy represents his wishes for a “liberal, cosmopolitan Austria”.
He commented on Trump’s campaign style that the sexist attacks were “unacceptable”.
His rival Norbert Hofer expressed sadness after the result has been announced. The post, however, is only ceremonial in Austria.
He wrote on Facebook:
“I would have loved to look after Austria. I congratulate Alexander Van der Bellen to his success and ask all Austrians to stick together. We are all Austrians, no matter what we decided today. Long live our home Austria.”
Both candidates have been very active on social media during the election process.
He is a 45 years old aeronautical engineer.
Hofer is not a Trump’s supporter, but he has “high hopes of improved relations with Russia”.
Full official results are expected today once postal ballots have been counted. Almost 6.5 million Austrians were eligible to vote.