Austria’s left-leaning candidate won the presidential election for the second time this year in his long run against the far-right candidate.
Alexander Van der Bellen wins election, again Photo Credit: SkyNews/Channel 2 News
Independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen appears to have won the presidential election with 53.6% of the votes versus far-right Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer’s 46.4%, according to the preliminary results.
Immediately after the results were announced, 45-year-old Hofer conceded to Van der Bellen. Even Hofer’s campaign manager released a statement: “Van der Bellen wins.”
Right-wing Norbert Hofer loses Austrian presidential Photo Credit: SkyNews/Channel 2 News
The 72-year-old left-leaning independent, an economics expert, was the former Green Party leader. Already in the first election held in April, Van der Bellen was declared the winner with 31,000 more votes. However, due to the discovery of glitches in the voting process, it was decided to hold a re-run of the election.
Austria’s Jewish community showed exceptional opposition against Hofer, who is viewed by many as an ideological ally to US president-elect Donald Trump. Although the Austrian president’s position is primarily symbolic, Hofer stated that if he were to be elected he would take on a more active role in government.