Far Right Loses Out in Austria State Elections
Austriaâs far right has lost power in the state of Carinthia according to projections from elections. In the other state being contested, Lower Austria, the ruling center-right Peopleâs Party retained a majority.
The nationalist Freedom Party (FPK), led by Kurt Scheuch (pictured left) saw its voter share in Carinthia more than halved to around 20 percent according to television projections on Sunday, from 44.9 percent at the last election in 2009.
The center-left Social Democrats (SPĂ), which is in power nationally, looked set to take control of the state for the first time since 1999. It garnered the highest share of the vote, 37.1 percent.
Carinthia was the stronghold of former Freedom Party leader JĂ¶rg Haider. The party splintered and in 2005 Haider founded the BZĂ, which roughly translates as the Alliance for the Future of Austria, as a more moderate alternative.
Haider died in a drink-driving accident in 2008 and a string of damaging corruption cases have eroded the far rightâs image. In Sundayâs election, the BZĂ, led by Josef Bucher (pictured right) gained just 6.1 percent.