cc. After the extremely close election of the Austrian President, the result will be contested with some chances of success. Austrian media consider a repetition of the elections as probable. In a 152-page election complaint, the FPÖ party (Liberal Party of Austria) registers frequent irregularities in the election (www.fpoe.at/dokumente/2016/wahlanfechtung_volltext.pdf).
From Monday 20 June to probably Thursday the Austrian Constitutional Court (VfHG) will now publicly be questioning and hearing 90 witnesses. Among them will be some members of the district election’s authorities. In case that the hearings will be confirming, among other things, that illegalities occurred which “could have affected” the election results and which relate to 15,432 of the votes counted, the election must be repeated.
Furthermore, the lawyers of the two presidential candidates will have the occasion to question the witnesses. The court at the latest intends to decide by 6 July, which means two days before the public inauguration of van der Bellen as Austrian president.
A repetition of the election is not expected before autumn (see “Die Presse” 16 June).
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) has instigated investigations on suspicion of malpractice and false certification and authentication in office (“Kurier” 18 June).
The FPÖ has made the entire text of the capaign contestation available online in the last few days.
“The facts shown in detail by the former Minister of Justice, Dr Böhmdorfer, editor of the contestation text, must make every democrat’s hair stand on end and reveals a frightening portrait of the condition of our democracy, most of all with regards to the entire handling and counting of the postal vote papers,” Inge Rauscher, initiator of the successful EU-Exit-Citizen-Petition a year ago, declares. “Such a large amount of ‘mistakes’ and above all the chronological sequence of events on the day of the election itself and one day later – the day the ballots have been counted – can impossibly have happened only due to ‘coincidence’ or ‘sloppiness’.”
And further: “If the constitutional court does not cancel the runoff vote for the highest office of the country, despite documentation and massive violations of the law, and repeat the entire election procedure, it would be a scandal of the first magnitude in terms of the political dealing with democracy! It is only secondly about which party or which presidential candidate would be harmed, but in the first place it is about our democracy on the whole.”
The Constitutional Court must defend democracy, especially since we know how close the officially rejected (the word ‘actually’ can now no longer be used here) percentage of votes was, which – reminding us of a united front in a totalitarian system (all against one) – lead to the following “decision”: “If only 15,432 voters – these are merely 0.35% of the valid received votes or 0.24% of the legal voters – had decided differently, the entire result would have been turned around.” (Citation from the contestation document)
Inge Rauscher concluding: “Everyone, who has thoroughly read this well founded contestation document (which is in the highest political interest of the general public) may match these documented ‘contradictions’, to this extremely low number of votes which allegedly caused the final result. When such a ‘decision’ is simply wiped away or merely accepted by the Constitutional Court, then it is getting dark in Austria, this would be the beginning of the end of our democracy!” •
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