Austrian President ends term, calls Brexit ‘short-sighted’

Vienna, July 8 (IANS) Austrian President Heinz Fischer ended his term on Friday, giving his power temporarily to three presidents of the national council.

Heinz Fischer, who served as Austrian President for 12 years, is an experienced politician of Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO).

In his 30-minute speech on Friday, Fischer said Britain’s exit from the EU was “short-sighted”.

He also spoke in favour of the EU project, noting it is “irreplaceable” though it needs improvement.

Due to the country’s failure to elect a successor after the May 23 presidential election result was overturned for election irregularities, Fischer has to leave his power temporarily to three presidents of the national council, a situation which normally happens when the president dies during his term.

Alexander Van der Bellen backed by the Green Party has to face right-wing anti-migrant Free Party competitor Norbert Hofer, who is also one of the three acting presidents, again in a final run-off vote on October 2.

In the neck and neck run in May, Hofer garnered just 30,863 votes fewer than his rival.

Fischer called the two candidates who will enter the presidential run-off election in October to observe “honesty and fairness” in their election campaigns, and wished his eventual successor “the best of success in fulfilling this important and wonderful function.”

The re-election of president was decided by Austrian Constitutional Court, after the elections were found to be affected by irregularities.



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