Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Austria: People’s Party sweeps the elections

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Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com He can be reached at: [email protected]

The People’s Party (OVP) won the National Council elections in Austria. According to preliminary final result from Sunday evening, OVP gained 38.4 percent of the vote, an increase of 6.9 Points in comparison to the previous election in 2017.

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The right-wing populist FPO of Austria, crashed after the Ibiza affair from 26 to 17.3 percent. Greens gain 8.6 percentage points, back in Parliament with 12.4 percent. Climate change has played a significant role in the election campaign.

The gap between the OVP and the second strongest force is 16.9 percentage points, a record for national elections in the country. The OVP chairman and former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on election night that, he was overwhelmed and almost speechless.

FPO General Secretary Harald Vilimsky meanwhile signaled that his party would probably not be available for coalition talks. “We do not interpret the election result as our goal to enter governmental negotiations”, said Vilimsky.

The new election in Austria were announced after as the collision government of the OVP and the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPO) was dissolved when a secret video recorded on Ibiza surfaced with the FPO politician, together with parliamentary leader Johann Gudenus, offering government contracts in return for election campaigns to a supposed Russian investor.

Political observers expect tough negotiations in the government formation. Despite the clear election victory of the OVP, government formation is likely to be difficult. Kurz has kept a low profile so far, to which political partner, he wants to continue in forming the government.

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In addition to the climate crisis, topics of affordable housing, migration and education also played a vital role in the election campaign. During the campaign, both the OVP and SPO had spoken out against a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

Read also: Austria prepares for the election under cloudy economic forecasts

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Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com He can be reached at: [email protected]
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