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03. 06. 10. - 12:00

Liste Burgenland performs spot landing

Final results of last Sundays provincial election mean that the Burgenland parliament will feature five parties for the first time in history.

Voting commission officials announced last night (Weds) that the counting of postal votes means that the Greens who won 5.2 per cent in 2005 managed to remain in parliament with 4.15 per cent.

The new Liste Burgenland party headed by former Freedom Party (FP) officials Wolfgang Rauter and Manfred Klly also won a seat in the 36-seat parliament with exactly four per cent. The hurdle parties need to take to win a seat in the parliament is four per cent.

The Social Democrats (SP) of Governor Hans Niessl remain the strongest party in the small eastern province with 48.26 per cent, down from 52.2 per cent, but lost one of its 19 seats won in the 2005 election.

The conservative Peoples Party (VP), headed in the province by Deputy Governor Franz Steindl, managed to keep its 13 seats with 34.62 per cent. The party formed a coalition with the SP after garnering 36.4 per cent five years ago.

The FP improved strongly. The right-wing opposition party headed by Hannes Tschrtz only won 5.8 per cent in 2005, down by 6.9 per cent, but almost managed to regain its former top shares with 8.98 per cent. The party now has three seats in the Eisenstadt parliament.

Tschrtz and federal party leader Heinz-Christian Strache may however be slightly disappointed about the outcome of last Sundays election since dreams of a double-digit result did not turn into reality.

Voting commission authorities said 77.3 per cent of the 248,000 Burgenland residents eligible to take part in the election did so, down by four per cent compared to the 2005 vote which had helped the SP to an absolute majority.

Interior security issues dominated the campaign preceding Sundays election. Niessl was accused of swerving to the political far-right in the debate about the possible continuation of the Austrian armys border check duties.

The Greens and the VP accused the governor of being populist and trying to create fear among residents despite statistics showing that as little as 21 burglaries and 39 car break-ins occurred between January and March 2010.

His campaign was supported by right-wing newspapers which warned their readers of "new floods of Eastern European gangs" heading for Austria.

Polls gave the Social Democrats chances to retain their majority, and the rather disappointing outcome may burden the bid of the SP֒s Franz Voves to remain Styrian governor. The province is set to vote in autumn as is Vienna where the SP rules with an absolute majority.

Speaking about the expected attacks by Strache whose FP is expected to improve, Viennas SP Mayor Michael Hupl recently revealed: "I fear this election campaign will get pretty dirty."

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