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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sympathetic to Russia, the politician got a second chance to become President of Austria


The Austrian constitutional court took a sensational decision. It was recognized that candidate, whom the Western media called Pro-Russian, lost in the recent presidential elections as a result of falsification and fraud. Norbert Hofer, in particular, spoke positively about the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. Whether he now has the chance to win a new election?

The Austrian constitutional court made the decision on cancellation of results of last presidential elections. This was the result of the claim of the representatives of the right Austrian freedom party (FPÖ), which considered the results of the vote unfair.

“Irregularities in the counting process provided grounds for the court to consider the second round invalid. Although the electoral law does not provide for”

The election really caused a lot of talk, because until the last moment the loser, right politician Norbert Hofer, bypassed its rival, though only slightly, by 3.9%. The decisive votes were obtained by means of remote voting (in Austria citizens, who are unable to come to the site, have the right to vote by mail). In the end, defeated the ex-leader of the green party Alexander van der Bellen, typing 50,35%, the advantage over the opponent was just over 31 thousand votes.

“The scale of the violations is more than appalling,” – said immediately after the elections representatives of the Party of freedom. The leader of the freedom Party Heinz-Christian strache said that the violations were registered in the processing of mail-in ballots for 94 of the 117 regional polling stations. Also in the FPÖ stated that they have information about illegal participation in the vote of foreigners and persons under 16 years of age. “I have therefore found it necessary to challenge the election results. And no need to be a conspiracy nut to experience bad feelings about these elections. No violations Hofer could become President,” – quoted by bi-Bi-si the statement strache.

Now the Ministry of internal Affairs, which is responsible for the election of the service will organize new elections. Chancellor of Austria, Christian Kern thanked the constitutional court for making objective and transparent decisions to cancel results of presidential elections, RIA “Novosti”. It is in the hands of the Chancellor are the main powers.

“Apparently, will walk triumphant March”

Interesting the reaction of the Western media on the election results in Austria. Overall it was a sarcastic-cheery, and the results of the election no one doubted. Revealing how blatant Western media rejoiced at the defeat of the candidate, which they called Pro-Russian.

“When in the end the President of Austria was not far-right Hofer, and “green” Alexander van der Bellen, Brussels was breathing a sigh of relief. The most dangerous aspects of the creed of the freedom Party – Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, appeasement of Russia is not “infect” the policy of Vienna,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.

“The success of the freedom Party, the dominant political debate, in particular on the issues of immigrants and refugees, is a grim development. And still win van der Bell demonstrates that while the most dangerous aspects of the creed of the Party of freedom won’t contaminate government policy. It is Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Pro-Russian sentiments,” echoed almost word for word the British Financial Times.

In recent years, the popularity of right-wing populists in Europe – in Austria, Poland, France, the UK, rapidly gaining momentum, wrote in the pages of the Tagesspiegel Albrecht Mayer and Reinhard Frauscher. Almost half of the Austrian electorate voted in the presidential election of Norbert Hofer. “Apparently, right-wing populists still will walk triumphant March through Europe,” the authors note.

We also recall that the freedom Party reacted positively to the reunification of Russia and Crimea.

“Guess I should make some new laws”

Head of the Department of social and political studies of the Institute of Europe RAS Vladimir Schweitzer said the decision of the constitutional court of the unexpected, as in Austria, “there were no precedents”.

“This proves that the Austrian court is independent from the government. Although the current government was keen to win van der Bellen. But the administrative resource in Austria no. Therefore, the Party of liberty just filed in court,” Schweitzer told the newspaper VIEW.

With regard to the substance of the decision, the expert said the constitutional court could establish any violations in the organization of the counting of votes by mail. And that’s why it was decided to hold a second round, and not to make a new recount.

“The judges were not satisfied with the counting process. I think essentially they did not reveal any extra votes from van der Bell or the lack of votes, the Hofer’s. But irregularities in the counting process provided grounds for the court to consider the second round invalid. Although the electoral law does not provide. Apparently, they need to take some new laws to hold this tour in the autumn”, – says Vladimir Schweitzer.

As for the results of new elections, the expert doubts that the recent events in Britain, the eurosceptic Norbert Hofer strengthen their positions. “From my point of view, if there is a second round, van der Bellen will gather enough votes to take first place. Hofer restricted electoral. He has his own voters who could impulsively to give him a vote only in the first round. In the second he even scored not very many relative to the gap that he had in the first round (ahead of van der Bell 15%,” – said the expert.

Echo “Breccia”

In turn, the Director of the International Institute of the newest States Alexey Martynov also believes the verdict of the constitutional court of Austria is amazing. In his opinion, this decision could partly be affected by events in the UK. “These processes have gone and euroscepticism were treated more seriously, including at the level of national bureaucracy. And in this sense Brexit influence in the Austrian case,” Martynov said the newspaper VIEW.

According to him, the idea of eurosceptics the EU is becoming mainstream, and the European bureaucracy does not understand what to do with it.

“There is a conflict, when one side declares freedom and democracy and direct democracy, a referendum is the highest level of democracy, and on the other they critically don’t want they all fell apart… a few years ago, many experts predicted a similar situation. The problems that have built up over decades – they are addressed in the context of European bureaucracy, but only on the contrary, were aggravated and increased. Today it started to break through the British Brexit continue”, – concluded the analyst.

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