Austrian president hopes for high voter turnout in lower-house election

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-15 20:39:42|Editor: Song Lifang
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VIENNA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has expressed his hope that Sunday's legislative election will have a high voter turnout, as he cast his own vote in Vienna, the capital of Austria.

The president was joined by his wife Doris Schmidauer as he voted at an elementary school in the Vienna district of Mariahilf.

He said voting is "not a luxury, but a duty."

When asked by journalists over his expectations for the outcome of the vote, the former Greens Party leader said "much is possible," and that he did not particularly trust opinion polls leading into Sunday.

Concerning the issue of whether he would support a coalition involving the far-right Freedom Party given their critical stance toward the EU, he said he places "great value on a pro-European government."

He added that Austria has been "better off" in the EU.

Some 6.4 million Austrian voters began heading to over 10,000 polling booths on Sunday to elect the members of the National Council -- the lower house of the parliament.

Sunday's legislative election has been seen as another important test for the right-wing wave amid a migration crisis in Europe after the German elections.