VIENNA — The front page of the Kleine Zeitung daily on Monday puts into stark colors the hard split down the center of Austria, as the presidential elections remain deadlocked, pending the counting of write-in ballots.
By midday Monday far-right presidential candidate Hobert Hofer, from the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ), hhad obtained 51.9% of the votes, to 48.1% for his opponent, Alexander Van der Bellen, who ran as an independent.
Election officials expect by Monday night the remaining 900,000 postal votes — around 14% of Austria's 6.4 million eligible voters — will be tallied. If elected, Hofer would become the first far-right president in the European Union since 1945. He focused his campaign on the refugee crisis, after more than 90,000 people last year sought asylum in Austria, equivalent to 1% of the country population.