Austria – The Green-backed independent far-left candidate Alexander van Der Bellen won the presidential election. The FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer conceded his defeat publicly. This election take an end after two postponement of the second round.
Norbert Hofer, candidate of the national-liberal and populist party FPÖ, conceded his defeat at the second round – twice postponed – of the Presidential election in a Facebook post. The 45 years old engineer told his supporters he was “endlessly sad” and “would have liked to look after Austria”. “I congratulate Alexander Van der Bellen for his success and ask all Austrians to pull together and work together,” concluded Norbert Hofer.
According to the public broadcaster ORF, Van der Bellen had gained 53.3% of the vote with 69% of voting districts counted – too strong a lead to be turned around by Hofer, who had 46.7% of the vote, as the polls closed already.
Freedom Party secretary Herbert Kickl, who has acted as Hofer’s campaign manager, said: “The bottom line is it didn’t quite work out. In this case the establishment – which pitched in once again to block, to stonewall and to prevent renewal – has won.”
The Austrian President is the federal head of state of Austria, but the President acts, for the most part, merely as a ceremonial figurehead who acts mostly on the advice of the Chancellor and the Cabinet. The next elections in Austria will be the legislative elections and will be held in 2018.