Suggestions that this week’s Austrian presidential election was stolen from the conservative populist who was narrowly defeated by a Green Party leftist are starting to emerge after it was revealed that crucial postal votes that swung the outcome of the race were opened without the presence of electoral officials the night before they should have been in violation of the law.
Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party, labeled “far right” by the media, was widely expected to come out on top in a close contest with his rival, socialist Green Party candidate Alexander van der Bellen.
Hofer was leading Bellen by a small margin before postal votes were counted. However, the socialist managed to pull off a 0.6% swing with the aid of absentee ballots, enabling him to defeat Hofer by a 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent margin.
After Freedom Party supporters immediately asserted that the vote count had been rigged, Hofer publicly announced that he was satisfied with the legitimacy of the result and called on his voters to concentrate on helping the party achieve success in the next parliamentary election.
However, evidence soon emerged that bolstered the suspicions of those who thought the election had been stolen.
As Austrian daily broadsheet Die Presse reports today, Interior Ministry spokesman Robert Stein revealed that postal votes were opened and counted on Sunday night in four different districts in Carinthia without the presence of official election witnesses, prompting a complaint from the state’s official Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s office.
By law, the absentee ballots should only have been opened at 9am on Monday in front of election commission officials. “The outer envelopes of absentee voting cards (had) been opened in advance,” states the report.
In all of the districts in question, Hofer had been leading Bellen before the postal votes were counted.
The socialist won 61.7 percent of postal votes nationwide, but only 55.2 percent in Carinthia. However, it remains to be seen if other examples of potential vote rigging are uncovered.
After initially brushing off suggestions of vote tampering, Hofer and Freedom Party chairman Heinz-Christian Strache are now backing the Interior Ministry’s investigation, with Hofer commenting that there was, “something a little bit strange in the way the postal vote is counted.”
Strache also pointed to inconsistencies in Linz and Waidhofen, where there were more votes cast than residents.
“Although there were only 9,000 people registered to vote in the tiny rural community of Waidhofen and der Ybbs, in Lower Austria, those recording the numbers claimed a voter turnout of 13,000 (149.9 per cent),” reports the Express.
In Linz, 3,580 people registered to allow other people to vote on their behalf, but this translated into a 598 per cent voter turnout.
As the New American’s William F. Jasper highlights, “Regardless of the outcome of the official postal vote fraud investigation, it is clear that the prospect of Norbert Hofer’s presidential run was a matter of great alarm in the higher circles of power inside the European Union.”
Jasper points to comments made by Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, who asserted that the European Union would simply refuse to acknowledge elected officials like Hofer because of their conservative stance.
“The prospect of seeing the far-right win forces me to say that I don’t like them,” Juncker told French newspaper Le Monde. “The Austrians don’t like to hear this but I don’t care: there is no debate or dialogue with the far-right.”
As Breitbart reports, the EU can now exert powers that completely disenfranchise member states if their leaders dare to challenge Brussels’ agenda for a federal euro superstate.
“The Commission can now trigger a “rule of law mechanism” (Article 7 TEU) against nations it perceives as deviating from “the common constitutional traditions of all Member States.” Ultimately, “far-reaching sanctions” can be exerted, and a country can be stripped of all voting rights in the EU and have funding blocked.”
With a populist conservative wave continuing to sweep Europe as a result of the EU’s disastrous economic policies and its support for flooding the continent with millions of Muslim migrants, it would be naive to think that next month’s Brexit vote in the United Kingdom isn’t also at risk of vote fraud.
If the referendum is close, don’t put it past those whose unelected power monopoly relies on Britain staying in the EU to try all manner of dirty tricks in order to swing the vote in their favor.
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