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Anti-refugees populists FPÖ become top party in Austria

Rising anti-migrant sentiment helps the far-right candidate win the first round of Presidential election, and eliminates both Social Democrats and Conservatives. In Serbia, pro-EU Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic repeats victory.

SOURCES Deutsche Welle, Evangelical Focus, Die Welt AUTHOR Evangelical Focus VIENNA 25 APRIL 2016 10:39 h GMT+1
norbert hofer Norbert Hofer (right) had called to

In Austria, the two candidates nominated by the ruling parties - SPÖ (Social Democrats) and ÖVP (Conservatives) - failed to make it to the second round of the Presidential election.



For the first time since 1945, the country will not have a President backed by one of these two parties.



The populistic far-right FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer received 36.4% of the votes and will face Green Party candidate Allexander van der Bellen (who came second with 20.4%) in the second round on May 22.



The rising anti-migrant sentiment in Austria has played a role in the FPÖ's success, analysts say. Another reason for the surprising result is the general downfall of the traditional parties happening across Europe.



 



CHRISTIANS FOLLOW ANTI-MIGRATION ARGUMENTS



“I would challenge the political right to be a little bit more engaging, especially if they claim to be Christian right” Doug Marshall recently told Evangelical Focus when asked about the rising far-right anti-immigration political movements in Europe.



Is this how we should be reacting? I am not saying this is easy. Dealing with integrating people and welcoming people is hard, it is not a work of five minutes, but it is something that is worth doing. For the sake of those of arriving, and for ourselves in the longer term”, he said. Read full interview here.



 



SERBIA ELECTIONS



 



Serbian PM Alexandar Vucic celebrates victory. / AFP



Elections were also held this weekend in Serbia. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic declared a “historic triumph” in an early parliamentary election on Sunday, with his pro-Europe Progressive Party (SNS) set to win about 50% of the vote.



Serbia will continue on its European path and we'll try to accelerate it," Vucic told supporters.



Ultra-nationalists, who want Serbia to develop closer ties to Russia, reached the 5% necessary to enter the Parliament.


 


POLL
Refugees in Europe
How are Christians in your country responding to the refugee crisis?
Individuals and churches are getting involved helping in many practical ways
37%
Some churches are offering help, others 'sit on the fence'
29%
Most churches openly say the 'wave' of foreigners is dangerous for European and Christian values
11%
Not many refugees have arrived to my country yet
23%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 127
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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.