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Austrian President Van der Bellen to run for second term

Vienna : Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has announced that he is running for a second term in office.

Van der Bellen, 78, said on Twitter that Austria and Europe are facing “turbulent times” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict, economic difficulties and the challenge of climate change, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I would like to continue to put my experience at the service of our country,” he said.

The presidential election is set to take place later this year, but the date has yet to be decided. It is also unclear who Van der Bellen will face in the race.

Austrian news agency APA reported on Sunday that the governing Austrian People’s Party and the main opposition Social Democratic Party of Austria had declared no intention of nominating candidates to challenge Van der Bellen.

The only other party with plans to enter the race is the Freedom Party of Austria, which has yet to present a candidate, APA said.

In December 2016, Van der Bellen beat Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer in the presidential election.

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