• Austrian govt in shock as far-right triumphs


    VIENNA: Austria’s government was licking its wounds Monday after the anti-immigration far-right triumphed in presidential elections, in a debacle of historic proportions for a cozy political establishment seen as out of touch and ineffectual. According to preliminary results, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPOe) came a clear first with 36 percent of the vote in the first round of elections for the largely, but not entirely, ceremonial post of head of state. Candidates from the two ruling centrist parties, which have effectively run Austria since the end of World War II, failed to even make it into a runoff on May 22, coming fourth and fifth with 11 percent each. The result means that for the first time since 1945, Austria will not have a President backed by either Chancellor Werner Faymann’s Social Democrats (SPOe) or their center-right coalition partners, the People’s Party (OeVP).



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