New Austrian leader 'will be Europe's youngest head of government'

European Jewry Congratulates Sebastian Kurz on Austrian Election Win, Warns Against Far-Right Pressures

Voting in a snap election in Austria is now underway, with head of the People's Party (OVP) Sebastian Kurz, 31, projected to obtain more than 30% of the vote and become the EU's youngest leader.

Final results will not be available until mid-week after absentee ballots and ballots cast by voters away from their home districts are counted.

After an electoral campaign dominated by immigration and fair access to social security, Kurz, at 31, could become the world's youngest leader with Freedom's Heinz-Christian Strache, 48, his likely vice chancellor.

The projections had the People's Party getting 31.4% of the vote, a gain of more than seven percentage points from the 2013 election.

Austria's traditionally right-wing, anti-migrant Freedom Party is expected to come in second and the center-left Social Democrats are thought to be trailing in third place.

Much of the People's Party's appeal has been credited to Kurz.

His People's Party, like the Social Democrats have also not ruled out forming a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party. The party is keen on shedding its past links to anti-Semitism, but continues to attract a small neo-Nazi fringe.

"Right-wing parties in governments. exist in other European states as well", said the 60-year-old.

President Alexander Van der Bellen, who must swear in the new government, said he "puts great value on pro-European government".

Others that may clear the 4 percent hurdle needed to get into parliament seats are the Greens, the liberal NEOS, and Liste Pilz, led by former Greens politician Peter Pilz.

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