Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Was the Austrian Election “Stolen”?

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Were “election irregularities” in Austria’s presidential election on Sunday actually vote fraud? Did EU elites use extreme tactics to steal the election from a “fed-up” electorate that is rebelling against the EU-imposed migration onslaught, economic stagnation, gestapo-like political correctness, and bureaucratic regulatory tyranny? That may well be the case.

The razor-thin election result in Austria’s presidential race last Sunday was heralded by EU politicians and the establishment media worldwide as a hair-breadth “escape” from a “far-right” takeover. When the live vote was counted Sunday night, the result was too close to call. Would Austria’s next president be “far right” Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party or the “moderate” socialist Green Party candidate Alexander van der Bellen? The result would be determined by postal votes, with nearly 900,000 Austrians — 14 percent of the voters — casting their ballot by mail this year. On Monday, the tabulation of the mail-in vote was announced to be in van der Bellen’s favor, by a mere 31,026 votes, or 0.6 percent. According to election officials, van der Bellen had squeaked out a 50.3 percent of the vote total to Hofer’s 49.7 percent.

There were immediate charges by some Freedom Party supporters that the election had been “stolen.” However, Norbert Hofer called upon his supporters to remain calm, and while graciously conceding electoral defeat, said he would be working even harder to insure the Freedom Party wins big in the next parliamentary election. “It will be impossible to keep us out of government," Hofer said on Tuesday.

As it turns out, though, Freedom Party accusations that the election was stolen from Hofer may indeed be accurate. The Elections Department of Austria’s Ministry of the Interior announced today that it is investigating “irregularities” involving tens of thousands of postal votes, particularly those concentrated in four towns.“The Austrian Ministry of the Interior has announced an investigation into ‘voting irregularities in four towns during the recent presidential election,” the New Observer reported. “In all cases, the FPÖ’s [Freedom Party's] candidate Norbert Hofer won the “live” votes, but lost when the postal votes were counted.”

The New Observer article continues: 

According to an official statement from Interior Ministry spokesman Robert Stein, the “irregularities” all involved the opening and “counting” of postal votes the night before they should have been. The Interior Ministry has not said that there has been any fraud, and that its investigation — at this stage — merely wants to “close the gaps” in how tens of thousands of postal votes could have lain opened all night.

The investigation will focus on four towns in Carinthia which have so far been confirmed cases. The investigation was started after the Interior Ministry received an official complaint against the city of Villach in the south, introduced by the state’s official Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s office.

According to the complaint, directed by the head of the electoral commission, postal votes were opened on the Sunday and “counted” without the presence of electoral witnesses. Officially, all postal votes were supposed to be kept under lock and key, and only opened in the presence of witnesses ... on Monday morning.

Stein, who is Head of the Elections Department of the Ministry of the Interior, said in his statement that following on from the Villach complaint, a further three similar cases have been identified. The three additional towns identified were Villach Land, Wolfsberg, and Hermagor. 

“In all these cases, it has been confirmed that the postal vote counting started on Sunday without witnesses and in contradiction to the official rules,” reports the New Observer, before noting: “In Villach, Hofer won with 56.2 percent of the votes before the postal ballots were counted. Hofer also won in Villach Land with 59.3 percent, and in Wolfsberg where he took 67.6 percent. In Hermagor, Hofer won 54.4 percent of the vote.”

After initially saying there was no evidence of voting fraud, Hofer and Freedom Party chairman Heinz-Christian Strache have stated that they are looking into the new charges now being investigated by the Ministry of the Interior.

Who’s “Extreme,” Who’s Moderate”? EU Insiders Stack the Deck

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. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the autocratic bureaucracy that wields the real power in the EU superstate, was especially abusive and intrusive in the lead-up to the election.

“The prospect of seeing the far-right win forces me to say that I don’t like them,” Juncker told French newspaper Le Monde on the Friday before the vote. “The Austrians don’t like to hear this but I don’t care: there is no debate or dialogue with the far-right.” That was but one of his many inappropriate, partisan remarks attacking Hofer and the Freedom Party.

But Juncker went much further than merely casting insults and aspersions; he threatened to use newly usurped powers against Austria if voters didn’t vote the way he wanted, clothing his naked grasp for power under threadbare claims of protecting “the rule of law” and “democratic norms.”

“The EU will isolate and use sanctions against any far-right or populist governments that are swept to power or presidential office on the wave of popular anger against migration,” the Times (of London) reported — without any apparent disapproval — regarding Juncker’s arrogant threats.

In an article on Tuesday entitled “Juncker vows to use new powers to block the far-right,” the Times reported:

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, made clear at the weekend that Norbert Hofer would have been frozen out of EU decision-making if he had been elected president of Austria. “There is no debate or dialogue with the far-right,” Mr. Juncker said.

Under powers given to the commission in 2014, he can trigger a “rule of law mechanism” for countries that depart from democratic norms by putting a government under constitutional supervision. Ultimately, a country can be stripped of voting rights in the EU or have funding blocked.

In a test run for the new EU constitutional powers, the commission has issued unprecedented orders to Poland, instructing the newly elected right-wing government to bow to Polish judges who have struck down laws passed by the parliament. 

“Mr Hofer had alarmed the EU by threatening to politicise the office of Austrian president by wielding powers, never used before, to trigger national elections at a moment most favourable for the far-right Freedom party (FPO),” The Times story noted. “Though he lost narrowly, Austria witnessed the biggest far-right surge in Europe since the Second World War.”

Yes, according to the Times, Juncker, and the powers that be in the EU plutocracy, Hofer was “threatening to politicise the office of Austrian president.” How so? By merely exercising an executive power provided for in Austria’s constitution, one that is used with some frequency in countries with parliamentary governments. It is Juncker and his fellow Eurocrats who are politicizing everything, including the EU Commission presidency, which has been steadily usurping new powers, in violation of the “rule of law” and “democratic norms.”

Juncker, a former World Bank functionary and career politician from Luxemberg (former finance minister and prime minister), has been a key architect of the EU’s monetary and political centralization, including the Maastricht Treaty, which introduced the euro currency, and earned him the moniker “Mr. Euro.”

Juncker and his fellow globalists — especially those in the major corporate media — wasted no opportunity to label Hofer and the Freedom Party as “far right,” “extremist,” “racist,” “xenophobic,” “Nazi,” “Islamophobic,” and “anti-immigrant.” In fact, it is difficult to find a headline or “news” story about the Austrian election that does not include “far right” as though it is an official part of the Freedom Party’s name (e.g. Far Right Freedom Party, FRFP).

Van der Bellen and his socialist Greens, on the other hand, of course, are portrayed as reasonable “moderates.” The very establishment Financial Times (of London), for instance, tells us that: “Mr. Van der Bellen’s victory — albeit with a margin of only 31,000 votes — nonetheless shows it is still possible to adopt moderate policies and win elections in Austria.”

Van der Bellen is a “moderate,” naturally, because he endorses homosexual “marriage,” LBGT “rights,” more Islamic “refugees,” more EU centralization, more and more restrictions on national sovereignty, etc., etc.

"I ask all those who don't like me but perhaps like Hofer even less to vote for me," van der Bellen had pleaded with voters prior to the runoff. "It's a path-breaking decision between a cooperative and an authoritative style."

However, the 72-year-old van der Bellen, a grizzled and disheveled economics professor and career politician, appears to be far more authoritarian than the affable and dapper 45-year-old Hofer. And certainly more uncivil.

"I don't want that Austria becomes the first country in western Europe led by a populist right-wing, pan-Germanic fraternity member," van der Bellen told Austrian voters. He also vowed not to swear in Freedom Party chairman Heinz-Christian Strache as chancellor if the party, currently ahead in polls, wins the next general election scheduled for 2018.

That remark prompted Hofer to call van der Bellen a "fascist green dictator." Of course, although van der Bellen, Juncker, and their allies have smeared Hofer and the Freedom Party with the Nazi label, it is really the Eurocrats themselves who more aptly fit that brand. The official name of the Nazi Party, after all, was the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. They were ultra-left-wing socialists and authoritarian environmentalists — much like their socialist brethren led today by van der Bellen and his Greens.

Photo showing posters of Norbert Hofer and Alexander van der Bellen: AP Images

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