by WorldTribune Staff, October 16, 2017
A Millennial “Wunderwuzzi” who has vowed to “put Austrians first” and cut benefits to foreigners has declared victory in Austria’s national election.
The victory sets the stage for Sebastian Kurz, 31, to become the world’s youngest leader.
Projections gave Kurz’s conservative People’s Party a comfortable lead with more than 90 percent of the ballots counted.
“We built a massive movement,” Kurz said at his Oct. 15 victory party. “We have made the impossible possible.”
Kurz added that “today is the day for real change in our country. Today has given us a strong mandate to change this country, and I thank you for that.”
The young leader, dubbed “Wunderwuzzi” in Austria, which translates to “Wonderkid”, has pledged to cut benefits for all foreigners in the country and has vowed to stop the European Union from meddling in the country’s politics.
Kurz said: “I would of course like to form a stable government. If that cannot be done then there are other options,” adding that he planned to talk to all parties in parliament but would first wait for a count of postal ballots.
That count will settle the close race for second place between the Social Democrats and the far-right Freedom Party.
The projections had the People’s Party getting 31.7 percent of the vote, a gain of more than seven percentage points from the 2013 election.
The projections showed the center-left Social Democrats receiving 26.9 percent of the vote and the anti-migrant, eurosceptic Freedom Party 26.0 percent.
“We were handed a great responsibility from the voters, and we should all be aware of it.” Kurz said. “We should also be aware that a lot of people have put their hopes into our movement. I can promise you that I will fight with all my strength and all my commitment for change in this country, and I want to invite you all to come along this path together with me.”
Kurz’s ideas on everything from immigration to economic policy represent a “complete rupture” with the EU, Paris-based analyst Patrick Moreau said.