SPÖ wins back Klagenfurt mayor seat
The Social Democratic party (SPÖ) has won the mayoral election in Klagenfurt, Carinthia, with 53 percent of the vote.
Maria Luise Mathiaschitz beat incumbent mayor Christian Scheider (FPÖ) in a run-off vote, winning back the seat for the SPÖ after 42 years. It’s also the first time that Klagenfurt has elected a female mayor.
A total of 41,745 votes were cast, with Scheider winning 46.69 percent.
Mathiaschitz, a 58-year-old doctor, has said she intends to form a coalition with the ÖVP and the Greens, to ensure a stable majority.
In a press release Carinthia’s SPÖ governor Peter Kaiser spoke of a "historic victory" for the Social Democrats. Chancellor Werner Faymann and SPÖ national manager Norbert Darabos said in a press release it was a "great result" and "a great day for Carinthian social democracy".
Carinthia, Austria’s poorest province, faces possible bankruptcy after acting as a guarantor on loans for defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria.
The financial mess has been blamed on the state government under Jörg Haider, the Freedom Party leader who died in a 2008 car crash.
The debt guarantee amounts to €10.2 billion - five times Carinthia's annual budget.
There is no precedent for a province going bankrupt, so it is unclear what lie ahead for the region, with its population of about 500,000.