Presidential elections in Austria was won by independent candidate Alexander van der Bellen. In the second round voted for 50.1 per cent of voters, according to the newspaper Kurier.
Competition van der Bellen made the candidate of the right populist freedom Party Norbert Hofer, who received 49.9 percent of the vote.
Hofer was a little ahead of van der Bellen at the end of counting of the ballots on Sunday, but Monday had counted the votes, sent by mail, which helped us to win independent candidate.
The election program of the Hofer-based euroscepticism, but also on the fears of voters, dissatisfied with the sharp increase in the number of refugees. Van der Bellen has performed with Pro-European positions, with the support of the green Party, which he headed from 1997 to 2008.
In early may, the leader of the ruling Social democratic party, Werner Faymann, resigned because of a split in the leadership of the organization after the failed results shown in the local elections and the first round of presidential. Then Hofer scored 35%, van der Bellen — 21%, and the representatives of the centrist Social democratic and people’s parties together received only 22%.
In mid-may instead of the leader Faymann of the social Democrats was elected Christian Kern. He became the new Prime Minister, as Austria is a parliamentary Republic where Executive power is headed by the representative of the winning party. The President performs mainly ceremonial functions.
Van der Bellen 72 years. His ancestors were immigrants from Russia who came there in the seventeenth century from Holland. Van der Bellen graduated from the Innsbruck University where he defended his doctoral thesis in Economics. Breaking with the social Democrats, it passed in the lower house of the Austrian Parliament from “green” and was an MP for 18 years. In recent years he was a member of the City Council of Vienna.
New Austrian President during the election campaign advocated the preservation of sanctions against Russia, wrote the largest Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung. He has called for dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to van der Bellen, sanctions hurt both Russia and Europe, and we need to improve the situation in Ukraine, so that in the medium term to remove restrictions.
As reported by the Viennese liberal newspaper Die Presse, speaking in early April, the program Pressestunde public broadcaster ORF, van der Bellen said that he understands Putin’s actions in Crimea, given the situation in the black sea region. From his point of view, the sanctions were imposed in connection with joining the Peninsula to Russia, and in connection with the situation in the East of Ukraine.