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Page last updated at 21:30 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 22:30 UK

Austrian president trounces rival to win second term

Austrian President Heinz Fischer, right, waves while Rudolf Gehring and Barbara Rosenkranz, from left, look on
Heinz Fischer (right) who is 71 won a first term in April 2004

The Austrian President, Heinz Fischer, has won a second six-year term in office in a landslide election.

The veteran Social Democrat politician gained almost 79% of votes cast for the largely ceremonial post, according to official results.

The controversial far-right candidate Barbara Rosenkranz won 15% of the vote while Rudolf Gehring of the small Christian Party was third with 5.44%.

Turn-out was low by Austrian standards at just under 49%.

That figure was expected to rise slightly once postal votes were counted. The results were announced on Sunday evening by interior minister Maria Fekter.

Speaking on live television, Mr Fischer said: "I am extremely happy and thank the Austrian population for having so much confidence in me."

Mrs Rosenkranz claimed she and her family had been victims of a "witch hunt" and told supporters: "It really wasn't a fair election campaign - I think everyone saw that."

She was never expected to win this election. But many Austrians were outraged at her nomination. In the past, she has criticised Austria's anti-Nazi laws, saying they go against the freedom of speech.



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