Austrian Presidential Election: Alexander Van der Bellen Elected

Alexander Van der Bellen in 2016, Photo: Manfred Werner – Tsui

Alexander Van der Bellen in 2016, Photo: Manfred Werner – Tsui

Alexander Van der Bellen will be sworn in as the next Federal President of the Republic of Austria on January 26, 2017. The final election result was published on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 (including absentee ballots); Van der Bellen won the re-run of the second round with 53.79%.

The initial second round vote from May 22, 2016 which Van der Bellen had won by a narrow margin was annulled by the Austrian Supreme Court, due to formal irregularities in the vote counting procedures (without any allegations of manipulation or fraud). 

Alexander Van der Bellen was born on January 18, 1944 in Vienna after his Estonian mother and Russian father with Dutch roots had fled to Austria following the Soviet invasion of independent Estonia during World War II. The family finally settled in the Kaunertal valley in Tyrol. Van der Bellen attended the Akademisches Gymnasium in Innsbruck and holds a Ph.D. in political economy of the University of Innsbruck. After 14 years as a member of the faculty at his alma mater, he was elected to the Austrian National Council, the lower house of the Austrian Parliament, in 1994. In 2012, after his retirement from the Austrian Parliament, he was elected to the parliament of the state of Vienna.

Alexander Van der Bellen will serve as the ninth president of Austria’s Second Republic until 2023.