- In Austria, around 6.4 million citizens were invited to vote for the federal president today.
- According to the preliminary official results, Alexander von der Bellen remains the head of state of Austria.
According to the Interior Ministry, the 78-year-old won 54.6 percent of the vote in Sunday’s presidential election, keeping him at the top of the country for another six years. Right-wing FPÖ candidate Walter Rosenkranz came second with 19.1 percent.
An expected 800,000 postal votes are not yet taken into account in the official tally. However, according to ORF’s predictions, a decisive change cannot be expected here.
Taking all votes into account, pollsters expect the incumbent to get about 56 percent and second-place Rosary about 18 percent. Postal votes will be counted on Monday. 65 percent voting was recorded.
Wide support for van der Bellen
President Ignacio Cassis has already congratulated van der Bellen on her election victory. On Twitter he praised the good relations with neighboring Austria so far during his tenure as the Austrian federal president.
Van der Bellen, a former leader of the Green Party, was supported by all parliamentary parties except the right-wing FPÖ, social partners and several NGOs. 6 candidates are contesting against him. The most prominent of them is 60-year-old Walter Rosenkranz of the right-wing FPÖ.
FPÖ candidate Rosenkranz stood for a complete change of direction. For example, the FPÖ rejects EU sanctions against Russia. The 60-year-old has threatened to dismiss the government if necessary. This right belongs to the Federal President, but it is really difficult
The conservative ÖVP and the social democratic SPÖ avoided putting forward their own candidate. The reason is that campaigning against an incumbent is considered hopeless – and parties want to save money on it. The media criticized the lack of women in the field of applicants.
With his electoral victory, van der Bellen was re-elected for another six-year term. “Austrians recognize the achievements of the previous chancellor,” says SRF foreign editor Franco Patel.
Rejected election campaign
During the last 6 years in office, van der Bellen has repeatedly had to intervene in political events. For example, in 2019 he appointed a government of experts after corruption scandals surrounding then-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strauch. Even on the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, the federal president has repeatedly taken a sharper stance.
Voters have overwhelmingly honored this leadership in troubled times. This despite criticism: The 78-year-old head of state steadfastly refused to hold a televised debate with his six rivals during the election campaign. His detractors said it was arrogant and desperate. Van der Bellen, however, said that after 6 years in office one does not need to know him and such a dispute is not in keeping with the dignity of his office.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”