Austrians vote in European elections amid turbulence

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-26 23:01:42|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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VIENNA, May 26 (Xinhua) -- In the midst of severe domestic turbulence, 6.4 million Austrians and citizens living here from other European Union (EU) states are called upon to elect on Sunday 18 members of the European Parliament for the next five years.

After the turquoise-blue coalition was broken in the Ibiza affair involving the Freedom Party (FPÖ), the European elections are now a test run for the early National Council elections in September.

The pollsters could hardly estimate how the Ibiza video released ten days before the election, the resignation of vice-chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache and the expulsion of the Freedom Party members from the government will affect the European elections in Austria.

Voter turnout could be boosted by the recent domestic political events surrounding the Ibiza video, said Othmar Karas, leading candidate of Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) for the European elections.

"Europe, decency, consistency and competence are becoming more and more of the topic - and that's a good thing," he noted.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), who assumed that the FPÖ and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) will join forces to see through a motion of no-confidence against his government on Monday, called for the defending the first place of the ÖVP. "I hope to strengthen the political centre," he said after casting his vote in his home district of Vienna-Meidling.