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Far Right Wins Elections in Austria

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Far Right Wins Elections in Austria

Kurz, incumbent foreign minister, leads the far right People's Party to victory

Kurz, incumbent foreign minister, leads the far right People's Party to victory

Kurz, incumbent foreign minister, leads the far right People's Party to victory

Kurz, incumbent foreign minister, leads the far right People's Party to victory

By Gabe Geytsman, Asst. Senior Editor and Political Analyst

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Nearly a full year after far-right populists narrowly lost a runoff election for Austria’s President, a new populist party has won a plurality of votes for the Austrian Parliament. The People’s Party of Austria won 31.4% of the votes in the October 15 Austrian election.

Austria’s People’s Party, formerly a traditional conservative party, was refashioned into a “movement” favoring restrictions on immigrants and refugees balanced with expansion of social welfare programs. With the helmsmanship of new party leader Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s incumbent foreign minister, the party was reconfigured to be included under the banner of the populist right.

The new plurality party must enter into a coalition with another party as a partner, and all indications seem to predict that Kurz and the People’s Party will partner with the Freedom Party, another far right party that earned 27.1% of the vote on Sunday. The Freedom Party rose to prominence when fielding the runner-up far right candidate in last December’s Presidential Election. Together, the two parties would wield a majority of votes in the Austrian legislature, combining forces to create a majority rule of the far right in Austria. In other nations, such as the Netherlands, even had the far right party won a plurality in Parliamentary elections, they would be unable to form a coalition and thus unable to effectively govern.

“It’s frightening and we should keep an eye on that part of the world,” opines Jason Reiser, informed senior here at Hills.

 

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About the Writer
Gabe Geytsman, Assistant Senior Editor

This senior somehow ended up being Assistant Senior Editor. Gabe formerly held the post of Political Analyst in his junior and sophomore years. He enjoys...

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Far Right Wins Elections in Austria