Austria political crisis, Austria Presidential Election 2016 schedule/dates/timeline Opinion poll facts,Brief about Austria political crisis, Werner Faymann, Reinhold Mitterlehner,Austria Latest news updates
The political crisis in Austria has been further worsened with the resigning of Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann. Mr. Faymann was under pressure owing to the loss his party faced in recently held presidential elections last month.
Mr. Faymann, who came to the power in 2008, has resigned as both – Austrian Chancellor and party president of Social Democrat Party (SPÖ). For now Vice Chancellor, Reinhold Mitterlehner, has been appointed as acting chancellor of the Austria. However it’s uncertain who will lead the party and become chancellor for the longer term.
Austrian general elections are due in 2018.
Chancellor Faymann was also under pressure because of the policy his government had adopted towards migrant crisis in Europe. Austria has long been facing the migrant crisis. Faymann, inititally, supported the “open-door” refugee policy of Germany. But as some 90,000 asylum-seekers arrived in Austria and public support for the policy crumbled, Faymann took a U-turn on the policy.
He was under attack from all sides for is handling of refugee crisis.
Mr. Faymann’s spokesperson, while announcing his resignation, said “This country needs a chancellor whose party is fully behind him…..The government needs a fresh start with energy. A chancellor who does not have this support cannot meet this challenge.”
Faymann’s resignation leaves Austria’s future uncertain while further strengthening the Far-right Freedom Party of Austria.
Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party’s candidate, emerged victorious with 35% vote share in the first round of presidential election held on 24 April, 2016 and Alexander van der bellen, independent, came second with 21% vote. While the candidates of both major parties – People’s party (ÖVP) and Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) – finished distant fourth and fifth respectively. Run-off elections (2nd round) for the top two finishers will be held on May 22, 2016.
The poor showcase of major parties in the recent election owes to the apprehensions fuelled by the refugee crisis in Europe.
For now the crisis in Austria doesn’t seems to disappear soon. It will be interesting to see further developments in Austria’s domestic politics.