Re-election: broad support for Van der Bellen

ÖVP and SPÖ had already declared that they would not be nominated if Van der Bellen ran again. However, the ÖVP wants to take its time with a statement. SPÖ federal party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner confirmed to the APA on Sunday that she would support the incumbent. “As head of state, Alexander Van der Bellen has led Austria through turbulent times and crises. He performed his duties independently, responsibly and prudently.” Green leader Werner Kogler expressed his delight on Twitter. “Good news for Austria,” it said.

As with the second ballot six years ago, NEOS will also support Van der Bellen in the new candidacy, as Secretary General Douglas Hoyos explained. “In the next six years, it will also be up to Van der Bellen as head of state to strengthen the rule of law in Austria and finally end corruption in the political system. We expect him to be a loud voice for transparency and clean politics and we will always be a strong partner for this,” the NEOS politician promised in a statement.

Van der Bellens Kandidatur: Reaktionen

The chancellor party ÖVP does not want to decide today whether it will support Van der Bellen. The Greens, on the other hand, are happy about the re-election of their former federal spokesman. Support also comes from SPÖ and NEOS – sharp criticism, however, from the FPÖ.

FPÖ: “Candidate of the failed system”

The FPÖ, on the other hand, will present an opposing candidate themselves – they did not want to reveal who it will be just yet. “With Alexander Van der Bellen, the candidate of the failed system is again running for the presidential election,” said federal party leader Herbert Kickl. Van der Bellen, for example, stands for the “division of society” through a completely evidence-free and malicious CoV policy. He is also responsible for a “softening” of neutrality.

Announcement on social networks

Van der Bellen posted a message on social networks on Sunday afternoon, and a video was also published by the association “Together for Van der Bellen – Independent Initiative for the Strengthening of Liberal Democracy”.

“Austrian Federal President. An exciting task. You have to love surprises. No one can prepare you for what awaits you there,” it said. “Five years ago, who among us would have had any idea what was going to happen. In Europe. In the world. In our beloved Austria.”

It will be “a big task to preserve peace, our democracy and values, social cohesion and our beautiful nature. Everything that is dear to us in our homeland. To preserve all the good things and take them into the future. That’s what it’s all about in the coming years,” Van der Bellen continues.

“If you agree, I would like to do my part to ensure that the next few years will be good for all of us. And I won’t rest until I’m sure that we’re all on the right track together. To be there for our Austria with all my life experience and strength. I can’t think of anything more meaningful,” said Van der Bellen.

Separation between office and election campaign

During the election campaign, he wanted to separate “precisely between the office of Federal President and my candidacy”. Therefore, no resources of the President’s Office would be used for campaigning purposes, he wrote in his own post.

An associated press release stated that Van der Bellen, as incumbent, was an independent Federal President. The candidature is organized by the independent association “Together for Van der Bellen”. This operates accounts with the name “The Candidate Alexander Van der Bellen”. A few days ago, a TikTok video had made the rounds, which presented a new candidacy for Van der Bellen. Again, it was an account called “The Candidate”. On Monday morning, Van der Bellen intends to make a personal statement to the press about his appointment.

Election date still open

There is no date for the Hofburg elections yet, this will be set by the federal government by decision of the Council of Ministers, after which it must be confirmed by the Main Committee of the National Council.

That happened six years ago in mid-January – for the first election on April 24 and the run-off on May 22. Since the Constitutional Court overturned the latter, Van der Bellen was only elected on December 4, 2016 and sworn in on January 26, 2017.

Complicated deadline

This means that presidential elections are no longer held in the spring, as has been the norm since 1951, but in the fall. The election must be such that the swearing-in by the Federal Assembly can take place on January 26, 2023. Based on the usual deadlines, that would be mid-November, but it could also be earlier. October 9th was also discussed. In any case, there must be enough time for a possible run-off four weeks after the first Sunday of the election.

Hofburg election: Van der Bellen is back

What the sparrows have already whistled from the rooftops is now confirmed: Alexander Van der Bellen is heading for a second term in the Hofburg. He announced his new candidacy on social networks on Sunday.

Van der Bellen was elected to office in the 2016 election marathon on December 4, 2016 with 53.79 percent – ​​in the run-off against FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer. This year he has decided not to apply again, but has held out the prospect of doing so in 2028.

Only Austrians who are at least 35 years old on election day are allowed to stand for the Hofburg. As a rule, the candidates were significantly older. The youngest Federal Presidents, Rudolf Kirchschläger and Thomas Klestil, took office at the age of 59. The oldest so far was Theodor Körner at 78. Alexander Van der Bellen will be 79 years old when he is next sworn in.

Political advisor Thomas Hofer on Van der Bellen’s appointment

Re-election is the rule

According to the constitution, federal presidents can run for a second term of office after the first six years. Almost everyone was able to use it. Only one of the eight directly elected heads of state resigned: Kurt Waldheim in 1992, after the discussion about his Nazi past had opened up great rifts in 1986. Körner died in the first period.

A total of 36 candidates have made it onto the ballot in the 13 direct elections so far, eight of them twice. With the exception of Körner and Waldheim, who died during the first term of office, all Federal Presidents (there were five) successfully applied for a second term of office. Waldheim had previously run for election without success, and Heide Schmidt and Richard Lugner tried twice.

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