ELECTIONS HELD IN 1999
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|3 October 1999|
|Elections were held for all the seats in the National Council on the normal expiry of the members' term of office|
|Since the previous (December 1995) general elections, Mr. Viktor Klima had replaced Mr. Franz Vranitzky as Federal Chancellor (Head of the Council of Ministers) in January 1997; both belonged to the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), which had ruled in coalition with the People's Party (ÖVP) since 1987.
As in the past, these two groups were mainly opposed by the Freedom Party (FPÖ) led, since 1986, by Mr. Jörg Haider. During the campaign, this far-right group stepped up its anti-foreigner rhetoric. Besides advocating a freeze on immigration, it called for tougher action against crime, a flat 23% income tax rate and more state aid for Austrian families with children; it also opposed enlargement of the European Union to neighboring countries. Led by Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel, the conservative ÖVP, for its part, favoured a pro-European Union and NATO orientation and free-market economic reform, while the SPÖ sided with traditional Austrian neutrality and maintaining a strong state control over the economy.
On polling day, the FPÖ captured 12 extra seats to pull even with the ÖVP for second place in the National Council. It thus closed the gap with the SPÖ, which made its worst showing in years by losing six seats to end up with 65.
Four months after the elections, at the beginning of February 2000, the FPÖ and the ÖVP formed a new government. The inclusion of members of a far right party provoked a general outrage a number of countries, including the 14 other EU Member States, ostracised the country diplomatically.
|Round no 1 (3 October 1999): Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||5 838 373|
|Voters||4 695 192 (80 %)|
|Blank or invalid ballot papers||72 841|
|Valid votes||4 622 351|
|Round no 1: Distribution of votes|
|Social Democratic Party (SPÖ)||1 532 448||33.15|
|Freedom Party (FPÖ)||1 244 087||26.91|
|People's Party (ÖVP)||1 243 672||26.91|
|Liberal Forum||168 612||3.65|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|Social Democratic Party (SPÖ)||65||-6|
|Freedom Party (FPÖ)||52||+12|
|People's Party (ÖVP)||52||-1|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
|Percent of women:||26.78|
Copyright © 1999 Inter-Parliamentary Union