Austria's new president: green professor who beat the far-right

The green candidate for Austrian Presidency Alexander Van der Bellen proved as divisive a figure in the country's nailbiting presidential race as his far-right rivalInstead of healing Austria’s political rift, Alexander Van der Bellen has proved as divisive a figure in the country’s nailbiting presidential race as his far-right rival. Despite backing from the nation’s most illustrous personalities including Chancellor Christian Kern, the ex-Green party leader struggled to convince many conservative voters, who accused him of pandering to the left. “He’s the lesser evil of the two,” was a commonly heard phrase at polling stations in Vienna, and Van der Bellen even used this pitch to undecided Austrians.

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