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FPÖ to take Vienna deputy mayor post

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FPÖ to take Vienna deputy mayor post
FPÖ club chairman Johann Gudenus. Photo: FPÖ
10:22 CEST+02:00
After scoring its best-ever result in the Vienna state election and coming in second behind the Social Democrats (SPÖ) the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) can claim the post of deputy mayor - despite the fact that the SPÖ has pledged not to form a coalition with them.

After the count of some 157,000 remaining postal votes - close to 20 percent of the 1.4-million electorate - the SPÖ obtained 39.59 percent, a loss of 4.75 points compared to the 2010 election.

The FPÖ, profiting from concerns about the influx of migrants, reaped 30.7 percent, down from the 32.3 percent given by preliminary results but up 4.9 points from 2010.

The result hands the FPÖ 34 of 100 seats in the Austrian capital's parliament, giving them a blocking minority in the local parliament for any legislation requiring a two-thirds majority.

It also means that the FPÖ's Johann Gudenus - whose father was convicted of Holocaust denial and who has made controversial comments himself - will become deputy mayor. The post is largely symbolic with no responsibilities attached - but comes with a handsome salary of around €130,000 a year before tax.

In the past the FPÖ has spoken in favour of scrapping the post as a cost-cutting measure but Gudenus said he is poised to take on the role and told the Kurier newspaper that he intends to be “an ombudsman for citizens of Vienna and open up City Hall to them."

Gudenus has said that he plans to demand the introduction of a begging ban in Vienna and he also wants uniformed security guards to be responsible for controlling “cycle hooligans”. He said that he also wants to strengthen Vienna’s ties with South-Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe.

The final election results including postal votes has resulted in a change of power in two Vienna districts. The FPÖ has taken the 11th district, Simmering, from the SPÖ and the Greens have taken the 18th district, Währing, from the ÖVP.

The ÖVP narrowly held onto the first district, and the 21st district, Floridsdorf, remains SPÖ.

Voter turnout was the strongest in 40 years at 74.75 percent, a rise of more than seven points compared to the previous election, with the SPÖ making a big push to mobilise voters by warning of the dangers of the FPÖ.

The vote was the last scheduled state election before general elections due in 2018. The FPÖ is leading national opinion polls with more than 30-percent support.

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