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Cardinal Schönborn calls on Austria’s new president to unite polarized nation

May 24, 2016

Alexander Van der Bellen, the leader of Austria’s Green Party, has defeated Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party by a 50.3%-49.7% margin in the nation’s presidential election.

In an earlier round of voting, Austrians had rejected candidates from the two parties that had dominated politics for decades. Hofer’s party called for tighter border controls, while Van der Bellen backed continued ties with the European Union.

“The new president must try to unite the country,” said Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. “The election campaign has caused strong polarization, not only in society, but also in the Church.”


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