Austria's constitutional court orders a re-run of the presidential election after far-right challenge

 
Jake Cordell
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Austria will have to go to the polls again after Norbert Hofer's Freedom Party challenged the results of the election
Austria will have to go to the polls again after Norbert Hofer's Freedom Party challenged the results of the election (Source: Getty)

Austria's top court has thrown out the results of its presidential election and ordered the vote to be re-run, plunging the Eurpoean Union into a fresh crisis one week after the UK voted to breakaway.

The ruling comes after the far-right Freedom Party, which was beaten in the final round the presidential election in May by just 31,000 votes, complained about irregularities regarding the counting of votes.

Norbert Hofer, the Freedom Party's candidate, was leading in the polls before the vote took place, but was eventually pipped by Alexander Van der Bellen, a former member of the Green Party who won 50.3 per cent of the vote running as an independent.

The constitution court, the most supreme legal authority in Austria, upheld the Freedom Party's claim that electoral law was contravened in 94 of the 117 electoral districts regarding the counting and sorting of absentee ballots, which took place before officials from the national elections commission were on site.

The decision to annul the results of the entire ballot throw the country back into political turmoil and will force a re-run of the final round of voting later this year, probably in September.

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