from Bill Still
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Austria struck a blow for freedom yesterday when Norbert Hofer, the candidate for Austria’s anti-immigrant Freedom Party, or FPÖ, won a crushing victory in the first round of Presidential elections.
Hofer’s 36.4% of the vote was nearly twice that of his nearest competitor, so there will be another run-off election on May 22 between the top 3 vote getters. Hoffer, however, is expected to be victorious and that would be the first time since WW2 that the Presidential office has not been held by either the center-left Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) or the center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP).
Besides being a critic of the European Union, Hofer is in favor of gun ownership and was frequently seen wearing his Glock pistol on the campaign trail. According to Hofer, gun ownership is rising in Austria:
“The rise in Austrian gun ownership is a natural reaction to the migrant crisis. In uncertain times, people try to protect themselves.”
More than 100,000 migrants have arrived in Austria since last summer, more than 1% of the population. Subsequently, Austria has completely shut its borders to immigrants.
The election saw around 70% of eligible voters go to the polls this election, compared to 50% during the last election 6 years ago.
According to political analyst Peter Hajek:
“Like elsewhere in Europe, we are witnessing the downfall of the traditional parties.”
In France, the conservative leader Marine Le Pen, hailed the victory as a:
“… beautiful result. Bravo to the Austrian people.”
Le Pen has compared Muslims to Nazis occupying France during World War 2. She is the leading challenger for the French Presidency in elections which will be held exactly one year from today.
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good Day.