Monday, 5 December 2016

Austria Formally Rejects Far-Right Presidential Candidate Norbert Hofer


In rejecting a far-right candidate for president on Sunday, voters in Austria showed the limitations of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s tailwinds on a continent where extremist politics have traditionally brought cataclysm.

Call it the other Trump effect, one that may sow caution among some European voters suspicious of the advances of populist politicians.

Populist forces have unsettled politics in Europe and the United States, frequently by using fake news and fanning fears of globalisation and migration. The British vote to leave the European Union this year was complicated by such anxieties. The rejection of constitutional changes in Italy on Sunday hinged on a variety of issues.

But the choice before Austrians was perhaps the starkest.

The bitter yearlong campaign for the presidency pitted Norbert Hofer, a leader of the far-right Freedom Party, founded in the 1950s by former Nazis, against a mild-mannered 72-year-old former Green Party leader, Alexander Van der Bellen.

This was a zero-sum political choice, and Mr. Van der Bellen’s decisive victory — by 6.6 percentage points with 99 percent of votes counted — left his supporters predictably jubilant, if surprised.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.