The Austria’s highest court annuls the result of the country’s presidential elections narrowly lost by a far-right candidate and says the poll must be re-run.
The Freedom Party challenged the result before the high court, stating that postal votes had been illegally and improperly handled.
Norber Hover, Freedom Party standard bearer, lost the election to Alexander Van den Bellen, a former leader of the Greens, by only a silk margin of 30,863 votes or less than one percentage point.
After the ruling of the court, the election for will now be scheduled to re-run.
“The challenge brought by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache against the 22nd May election… has been upheld,” part of decision read and announced by Gerhard Holzinger, head of the Constitutional court.
The pool of lawyers of Freedom Party argued, during two weeks proceedings, that postal ballots were illegally handled in 94 out of 117 districts.
Also the legal counsel of the Party questioned the early opening of thousands of votes that is not allowed under the election rules and allegedly some were counted by unauthorized people.
The Party also claimed to have evidence that some under 16 years old and foreigners had been allowed to vote.
In the court’s decision, said the election rules had been broken in a way that could have influenced the result, but firmly said there was no proof that the casting of votes had been manipulated.
If elected, Hofer, will become the first far-right head of state of an EU country, his party has widely known for stressing concerns over immigration policies and falling living standards for the less well-off during the election campaigns.