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Austria: Voting starts in parliamentary elections

Austria: Voting starts in parliamentary elections
Around 6.5 million voters to elect 183 members of parliament

By Askin Kiyagan

VIENNA (AA) - Voting in snap parliamentary elections in Austria began on Sunday morning.

Two years since the previous elections, Austrians will elect 183 members of parliament.

Voting started at 7 a.m. local time (GMT 0500) and will finish at 5 p.m. (GMT 1500).

Some 6,400,000 are registered to vote in the Central European country, with all citizens over 16 years old being eligible.

Voting is not compulsory during the elections, in which parties must gain over 4% of the vote to enter parliament

The elections will designate the 33rd government of Austria with 1,476 parliamentary candidates, of which 27 are Turkish-origin.

The snap general election decision came after the collapse of a 17-month far-right coalition in May after then-vice chancellor and Freedom Party head Heinz Christian Strache stepped down from his posts due to a corruption scandal, revealed with the emergence of secret video footage.

For almost four months, the country has been ruled by former Constitutional Court head Brigitte Bierlein -- who was appointed by the President Alexander Van der Bellen as chancellor -- and the interim government she formed with high-level bureaucrats.

* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara

source: News Feed
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