From the Europe is Going to Heck in a Handbasket since Brexit Department:
The Austrian election narrowly lost by the euroskeptic Freedom Party candidate to a Green-backed hopeful in April has been overturned by the nation’s highest court and it gets to be re-run again (too bad they could not have re run the 2012 election here!) later this year!
Breitbart says vote fraud was very possible:
Now the Austrian Constitutional court has upheld a complaint by the FPO about conduct in the election. The party had alleged that there were voting “irregularities” in 94 of the 117 total electoral constituencies in the country, reports Kronen Zeitung.
It is not known how many of the 94 areas alleged to have voting irregularities have been investigated, but the court identified “20 particularly serious cases” after interviewing 67 witnesses. Two witnesses are reported to have refused to give a statement. The allegation is that in these areas the postal ballots were opened and sorted before the arrival of Electoral Commission arrivals, meaning they could have been easily tampered with.
Sounds serious. But the Telegraph reports it was more of a significant irregularity rather than fraud:
“The result was overturned because of technical errors, not vote manipulation,” Christian Kern, the Austrian chancellor said, calling for calm.
“The decision should not be a cause for emotion.”
He called for a short campaign and said he hoped turnout would be high, although he acknowledged there was a likelihood of voter fatigue.
With all due respect to the chancellor, it is a great cause for emotion – victory lap emotion. I wonder if they would have ordered a new election if Brexit hadn’t occurred.
As the Great One, Bob Dylan sang: The times, they are a’changing!
The Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer, who is already a deputy speaker of the Austrian parliament, he’s all right by me. For one thing he constitutionally carries – that’s right – he has a Glock 9mm pistol that he packs on the trail – and his party favors what amounts to an Austria First policy and insists on radical reform of the EU or there will be vote in Austria on leaving the Union. Here’s from the Telegraph article:
Mr Hofer campaigned on an openly anti-immigrant platform and carried a Glock pistol on the election trail.
While his party does not want Austria to follow Britain out of the EU, it is calling for radical reform of the bloc and has threatened to hold an “Auxit” referendum if it doesn’t get its way.
The FPÖ wants powers returned to national parliaments and an end to EU control over immigration policy — in other words, the most powerful far-Right party in Europe’s shopping list is much the same as the British Leave campaign’s.
Maybe I’ll talk Tom White into a blog endorsement on this election! People in Osterreich should ask: WWCVTD: What Would Captain von Trapp Do? My prediction: Hofer wins in the September or October redo and the Freedom Party’s victory helps Trump win big in the November election.