Re-election party, 2010-04-25.
Fischer was a member of the Austrian parliament, the National Council
, from 1971, and served as its president
from 1990 to 2002. From 1983 to 1987 he was minister of science in a coalition government headed by Fred Sinowatz
First term as president
Fischer was sworn in on 8 July 2004 and took over office from the college of presidents of the National Council, who had acted for the president following Klestil's death on 6 July.
Fischer's critics, foremost among them Norbert Leser
, his university colleague, have derided him as a career politician (Berufspolitiker)
who has never been in touch with the real world. They claim that Fischer has always avoided controversy and conflict, even when that seemed required, pointing to Fischer's tacit support for Bruno Kreisky
in his attacks on Simon Wiesenthal
. On being nominated for president, Fischer said that he hated antagonising people and that he considered this quality an asset rather than anything else.
Second term as president
Fischer with Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in the Pink House
In April 2010, Fischer was re-elected president of Austria
, winning a second six-year term in office with almost 79% of the votes. The voter turnout
of merely 53.6% was a record low.
Around a third of those eligible to vote voted for Fischer, leading the conservative daily Die Presse
to describe the election as an "absolute majority for non-voters".
The reasons behind the low turnout may have been that pollsters had predicted a safe victory for Fischer (past Austrian presidents running for a second term had always won) and that the other large party, ÖVP
, had not nominated a candidate of their own, and had not endorsed any of the three candidates. Prominent ÖVP members, unofficially but in public, even suggested to cast a blank vote, which 7% of the voters did.
Heinz Fischer is welcomed to ESO
’s premises in Santiago.
Honours and awards
2009 Florianiplakette of the Austrian Federal Fire Association in gold
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Last edited on 16 June 2021, at 15:42
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