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World

Court rules Austrian election must be re-run

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Opening sequence

World

Court rules Austrian election must be re-run

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COMING UP:Court rules Austrian election must be re-run

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00:00:01
>> A second chance for the far right in Austria as a Constitutional court rules that May's presidential run off must be held again after widespread irregularities when counting postal votes. It gives the narrowly defeated far right Freedom Party another chance to seize power. According to Reuters' Francois Murphy in Vienna.
00:00:20
>> It became quite clear during witness testimony to the court that several laws, or several rules rather, on how elections should be carried out, particularly how the count of ballots should be carried out, had been broken. And it was quite an extraordinary list of infringements. In some cases, election observers simply didn't know about some rules.
00:00:43
The most common breach of the rules seems to have been that postal ballots were processed or counted before 9:00 am the morning after the election. This is a clear rule in Austria that can't happen, but many election officials and policy observers seem to have been completely unaware of that rule.
00:01:02
Norbert Hofer of the anti-immigration FPO lost the contest to former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen by less than one percentage point. That's just 31,000 votes. The decision to order a re-run comes a week after Britain delighted anti-EU groups by voting to leave the block. Immigration and jobs a key campaign battleground in both the UK referendum and Austria's knife-edge election.
00:01:27
>> Austria is a relatively Eurosceptic country, but it's still a place where a majority of people seem to be in favor of staying in the EU. There aren't regular polls on this, but there was one the other day that's put the figure to about 51% people in favor of staying in the EU.
00:01:44
>> If elected, Hofer will become the first far right head of state in an EU country. He's already confirmed he would push for a referendum on Austria's membership of the block if Europe fails to carry out reforms within a year. Already contending with Brexit, the EU could face what Austria media are dubbing, Auxit.