- Title: Austrian presidential election candidate Van der Bellen casts ballot
- Date: 4th December 2016
- Summary: VIENNA, AUSTRIA (DECEMBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) POLICEWOMAN IN FRONT OF POLLING STATION MEDIA WAITING IN FRONT OF POLLING STATION MEDIA WAITING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEXANDER VAN DER BELLEN, WALKING TO POLLING STATION, SAYING (German): "I will be back shortly. This will just take two minutes." MEDIA WAITING VAN DER BELLEN WALKING TOWARDS MEDIA AFTER CASTING HIS BALLOT (SOUNDBITE) (German) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEXANDER VAN DER BELLEN, SAYING: "We will know the final result supposedly tomorrow. I am optimistic and confident, but no one can be sure today, I believe." CAMERAMAN (SOUNDBITE) (German) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEXANDER VAN DER BELLEN, SAYING: "I think this is not about two people that are standing all-around, but the direction Austria is going to take, if it is going to be a fixed member of the European Union and be aware of its, being aware that we must move closer together in Europe, and not drift apart. And I think that will also be observed in many European capitals." MEDIA FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (German) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEXANDER VAN DER BELLEN, (ON ITALIAN REFERENDUM): "I hope Matteo Renzi wins the referendum. If not, we will see what happens in Italy. I hope, of course, that in Austria we get a new president whose name is the same as mine." (LAUGHS) JOURNALISTS WATCHING VAN DER BELLEN WALKING AWAY FOLLOWED BY SECURITY
- Embargoed: 19th December 2016 12:30
- Keywords: Austria election Van der Bellen independent candidate
- Location: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
- City: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
- Country: Austria
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BGWY13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen cast his ballot in Vienna on Sunday (December 4) in Austria's closely contested presidential run-off.
Van der Bellen, a former leader of the Greens, is up against far-right Freedom Party (FPO)'s Norbert Hofer, in a neck-and-neck run-off vote.
Although Van der Bellen had won the original run-off in May by a very thin margin, the result was annulled because of irregularities in the count of postal ballots.
The postal votes and a thin margin could mean that the winner will not be known until Monday (December 5).
"We will know the final result supposedly tomorrow. I am optimistic and confident, but no one can be sure today, I believe," the candidate told reporters after voting.
He emphasised that the election was not only a choice between him and Hofer but also a crucial decision on "the direction Austria is going to take" and the country's stance on European Union.
Analysts see the election as a gauge of the larger populist wave sweeping Western democracies in the wake of Britain's Brexit referendum and Donald Trump's victory in the United States, which is seen as a threat to existing international alliances.
Van der Bellen also expressed his hope that the Sunday's constitutional referendum in Italy would also have a good outcome for centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
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