Alexander van der Bellen elected new Austrian president

The Austrian authorities confirmed Monday that green-backed candidate Alexander van der Bellen narrowly beat his far-right rival Norbert Hofer to the presidency after postal votes broke a tie within the carefully watched race.

Van der Bellen beat Hofer of the anti-immigrant, populist Freedom Social gathering with 50.three % to 49.7 % — “a distinction of 31,026 votes,” Inside Minister Wolfgang Sobotka mentioned throughout an official announcement in Vienna.

Lots of people on this nation evidently really feel that they aren’t being seen or heard sufficient,” he mentioned in his first official speech in Vienna following the end result announcement.

“We’d like a unique tradition of dialogue and a political system which offers with individuals’s fears and anger… I can even work towards profitable the belief of Norbert Hofer’s voters.”

The Inexperienced-backed economics professor gained 50.three % of the vote in Sunday’s second-round, marginally forward of 49.7 % for Hofer, introduced because the pleasant and average face of the anti-immigration, populist Freedom Social gathering (FPOe).

With virtually half of the votes solid, or 2.2 million individuals, going to Hofer, Van der Bellen now has to unite a polarised nation after a bruising election marketing campaign.

“I wish to be a nonpartisan president for all of the individuals in Austria,” he mentioned.

“There’s been a whole lot of discuss this nation’s rifts. However I believe you too can interpret the cut up as an indication that we’re two sides of the identical coin and all sides is as essential as the opposite. Collectively we make up Austria,” he added.

Van der Bellen will change outgoing President Heinz Fischer of the Social Democrats (SPOe) on July 8.

Fischer, who took workplace in 2004 and was re-elected for a second time period six years later, has loved enormous recognition throughout his lengthy tenure.

“The largest responsibility of the brand new president will likely be to bridge the divides,” Fischer mentioned.

Chancellor Christian Kern mentioned Van der Bellen “represents a stance that’s pro-European, open to the world and for a coverage that places alternative within the forefront and which doesn’t stoke fears”.

However “we should do not forget that the election end result was achieved with a worryingly shut lead, and subsequently it’s of explicit significance to us that… no voter seems like they’ve misplaced,” added Kern, himself a newcomer to the federal government.

He was sworn in earlier this month after fellow Social Democrat Werner Faymann give up over the historic first-round defeat within the presidential race of the long-powerful SPOe and their coalition accomplice, the centre-right Folks’s Social gathering.

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