Austrian Far-Right Says 'Countless' Signs of Election Fraud
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Austria's far-right is probing "countless" cases of fraud in last week's presidential election that saw its candidate lose by a narrow margin, the party chief was quoted as saying Sunday.
"We are going to get the countless indications (of irregularities) looked at by an independent, neutral body and then decide" whether to challenge the result, Freedom Party (FPOe) head Heinz-Christian Strache said.
"There are lots of indications coming from voters, and so far five criminal complaints where the law was obviously broken," he told the populist Kronen-Zeitung daily in an interview published Sunday, according to AFP.
"The result of the election could change," Strache said.
Last Sunday's election saw the FPOe's candidate Norbert Hofer fail by just 31,026 votes to become the European Union's first president from the continent's increasingly popular anti-immigration far-right.
Prompting huge relief from Europe's centrist parties, former Green Party chief Alexander Van der Bellen was instead declared to have won the runoff for Austria's largely ceremonial but coveted presidency.
Mirroring the rise of other populists in Europe and beyond, Hofer had tapped into unease about immigration and Austria's faltering economy to win support not just among poorer, less educated voters but across the board.
Last week Austrian authorities said they were investigating several cases of alleged election irregularities.