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Lugner inspired by Trump to run for president

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Richard Lugner. File photo: APA
13:00 CET+01:00
Austria's multimillionaire playboy Richard Lugner has been so impressed by Donald Trump's success in America that he has now announced he is standing for president in his homeland.

Announcing his decision to stand, the 83-year-old construction entrepreneur said he plans to put his name forward as Austrian president, and that he thinks his former Playboy bunny wife would be a perfect First Lady.

He said he was inspired by the fact that fellow building magnate and outsider Donald Trump had managed to notch a big victory in the US. "I am going to make sure we copy the same voting strategy as Trump," Lugner said.

He said that his wife would be his campaign manager and would be making joint appearances with him. "Other presidents tend to hide the first ladies, but I certainly won't be doing that," said Lugner, who is married to 26-year-old Cathy.

As well as being a former Playboy bunny girl, and playmate, she is also a former nurse and has made several soap documentary appearances. The couple tied the knot after a brief courtship that lasted just seven months.

Lugner was only recently in the news after taking Brooke Shields to this year's high society Vienna Opera Ball. In the past he attended the event with Sarah Ferguson, Grace Jones, Paris Hilton, Dita Von Teese and Brigitte Nielsen.

His celebrity guests have not always been welcome at the ball, and have led to criticism of him at a society event which would rather see politicians, diplomats and opera singers rather than strippers and models.

Over allegations that his new wife had only married him for his money, Lugner said: "I have a younger woman, and she has a man with a lot of money. But we have other characteristics that make us who we are, and if each of us are happy with that, then as far as I'm concerned what's wrong with it?"

He says that marrying him was never going to be a get-rich-quick option anyway, saying: "I was only recently at the doctors and they said I'm absolutely in tiptop health."

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Like Trump he made his money in the building industry and now has an extensive property portfolio including a shopping centre in the capital Vienna.

Austria's presidential elections will be held on April 24th, with a run-off on May 22nd, if necessary.

Story courtesy of Central European News.

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