Van der Bellen Has Won Election as Austria's New President

Van der Bellen Has Won Election as Austria's New President
Mon Dec 5, 2016 09:40:51

Exit polls in the Austrian presidential election show former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen has won with 53.3 percent of the vote.

Alalam - Austria

Right-wing candidate Norbert Hofer has acknowledged defeat.

According to an exit poll conducted by broadcaster ORF on Sunday, independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen has been elected Austria's next president after winning 53.3 percent of the vote.

"From the start, I have always fought and argued in favor of an Austria that is pro-European," Van der Bellen said on public television.

Right-wing candidate Norbert Hofer conceded defeat after garnering 46.7 percent of the electorate, confirming he would not challenge the result.

Reacting to the result on Facebook, Hofer said he was "infinitely upset."

"I would have liked to take care of our Austria," Hofer wrote.

Van der Bellen's victory on Sunday comes as a blow to Europe's right-wing populist movements, which were anticipating a boost ahead of next year's elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands, dw reports.

Christian Kern, Austria's chancellor and a Social Democrat, congratulated Van der Bellen shortly after the exit poll was announced.

"I see a good day for Austria," Kern wrote on Twitter.


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