Austria’s far-right candidate defeated in presidential poll

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Vienna, Dec 4 (IANS) Austria’s far-right candidate Norbert Hofer has conceded victory to independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen in the presidential election, his campaign manager said on Sunday.

The Austrian presidency is largely ceremonial but the vote had been seen as a sign of how well populist candidates might do in upcoming elections in the European Union, BBC reported.

The result is sure to be welcomed by establishment parties and officials in the EU.

The election was a re-run of May’s poll which suffered irregularities.

Former Green Party head Van der Bellen had a clear lead, according to projections.

France, the Netherlands and Germany all face elections next year, in which anti-mainstream and anti-immigration parties are gaining ground.

Hofer had campaigned on an anti-immigration platform amid disquiet in Austria at an influx of refugees.

He had also suggested Austria could follow Britain’s vote to leave the EU with a referendum of its own but later appeared to row back, suggesting changing the bloc into a purely economic association.

–IANS

lok/vt

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