Extreme right wins 15.6% in Austria

Radical FPOe party second only to President Fischer's 78.9 percent.

April 26, 2010 02:49
2 minute read.
Presidential candidate of the right-wing Freedom p

BarbaraRosenkranz. (photo credit: AP Photo/Ronald Zak)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


VIENNA (AP) — Austria's president has easily secured a second term, deflecting a challenge by a far-right politician who had criticized the country's anti-Nazi law.

Incumbent Heinz Fischer, a Social Democrat, won 78.9 percent of the vote Sunday, trouncing his main rival, Barbara Rosenkranz of the anti-foreigner and anti-European Union Freedom Party, who netted 15.6 percent. Rudolf Gehring of the tiny Austrian Christian Party — the only other candidate in the running for the largely ceremonial post — trailed with 5.4 percent.

Turnout was a mere 49.2 percent.

"I am extremely happy and thank the Austrian population for having so much confidence in me," Fischer said in remarks broadcast live on public television.

Rosenkranz claimed she and her family had been victims of a "witch hunt."

"It really wasn't a fair election campaign — I think everyone saw that," Rosenkranz said as her supporters clapped and cheered.

The results, which do not include mail-in ballots, were announced by Interior Minister Maria Fekter.

Polls had predicted Fischer would win another six-year term and the vote was being watched as a measure of far-fight sentiment in a country at times still marred by its connection to the Holocaust.

Fischer, 71, is known for caution and diplomacy. He served as science minister and held various leadership positions in his party and in parliament before initially winning the presidency on April 25, 2004.

Rosenkranz, in contrast, caused controversy by suggesting that Austria's law banning the glorification of the Nazis was not in line with the constitution and hindered freedom of expression. But she recently declared formal support for the law.

She also came under fire recently for a vague response to a question about Nazi gas chambers, but has since clearly acknowledged their existence.

The 51-year-old mother of 10, whose husband used to be part of a far-right political party that was banned for being too radical, said her comments on the country's anti-Nazi law were misinterpreted by her critics and the media.

"Of course I condemn the monstrous atrocities — I've never done anything else," Rosenkranz told The AP in reference to the mass killings of Jews and others by the Nazis.

Ferdinand Karlhofer, head of the University of Innsbruck's political science department, said the results were a blow to the Freedom Party, which had hoped to position itself for key local elections in the Austrian capital this fall.

"The FPOe (Freedom Party) is coming out of this election with hefty minus points," Karlhofer said in a telephone interview. "They didn't get the momentum they had hoped for."

Freedom Party chief Heinz-Christian Strache, who wants to become the mayor of Vienna, initially predicted that Rosenkranz would win up to 35 percent of the vote but later distanced himself from her.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

May 26, 2019
Chelsea's Armenian midfielder to skip Europa League final for 'security reasons'