The Austrian presidential election is going to a lap of (dis-)honor. The highest court decided to repeat the run-off ballot, which was narrowly won by the green party’s candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, a former economy professor. The loser in this election was the vice chairman of the right-wing populist party Norbert Hofer. Hofer and his party sued against the validity of the election. Even though there was no hint, that any vote was counted incorrectly, some of the election laws were violated (opening of the outer envelop of the postal votes too early, not all election-observer were present at all times, …). However, the highest court ruled, that the possibility for voter fraud is already enough to revoke the election.
Now the Austrian people have to pay for another election. Much worse is the chance to get an illiterate populist as a president. What a shame for Austria, if Norbert Hofer makes it.
Recently some reporters asked him, if he would have sued against the result of the election, even if he was the winner. Of course he would, Norbert replied. Obviously he didn’t expect the follow-up questions: The election in question was already the second round. In the first round with six candidates, Norbert Hofer got the majority of votes, which qualified him and the runner-up Alexander Van der Betten to the run-off ballot.
In the first round of the election exactly the same violations were observed, which eventually led to the annulment of the second round of the election.
The question to Norbert Hofer was: Why didn’t you sue against the result of the first round? But Norbert lied: I didn’t know about the violation of the election regulations at that time point.
Let me offer some options for an honest answer:
- I won. Why should I do anything against it?
- My interpretation of law is flexible, dependent on my advantage.
- I am used to defend my version of the truth. Why should I act differently this time?
- I do anything to win. Since I was the winner, there was no reason to act.
- There was a certain risk to upset the public, which would have reduced my chances in the run-off ballot.
- My advisers told me to keep calm about the violations of the law. I do what my advisers tell me to do.
- Everything happened behind my back. I have no idea, what’s going on.
There is probably some truth in each of these answers, even though none of them was selected by Norbert Hofer.