Austria’s interior minister has asked the government to postpone repeat presidential elections because of faulty absentee ballot envelopes, effectively cancelling a vote planned for next month.
Wolfgang Sobotka’s decision was prompted by a recent finding that hundreds – perhaps thousands – of the envelopes cannot be sealed because the adhesive strips meant to close them are defective.
Austria was to have decided on a president in May after left-leaning contender Alexander Van der Bellen edged out Norbert Hofer of the right-wing Freedom Party.
But the country’s highest court ordered a re-run after the Freedom Party claimed major irregularities. The rerun had been scheduled for October 2.
With the government needing to create a new law to allow for the postponement, any repeat of the vote is unlikely before November.