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Political party of COVID vaccine sceptics wins parliament seats in Austria

Political party of COVID vaccine sceptics wins parliament seats in Austria
September 28
18:49 2021

A newly formed political party, that is against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, has won seats in the regional parliament in Austria.

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COVID vaccination is said to be mandatory for sectors of Austria’s population, with job seekers said to risk losing benefits.

The Menschen Freiheit Grundrechte (MFG) or People Freedom Fundamental Rights movement, which was set up in February 2021, is against compulsory coronavirus restrictions and has also questioned the decision on compulsory COVID vaccination.

In the Upper Austrian state elections held on September 26, the party “won over 6 percent of the votes”, giving the MFG three seats on the Upper Austrian state parliament.

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Political parties need at least four percent of votes to secure seats on the Upper Austrian state parliament.

The MFG victory has been largely received with surprise, considering that the party is relatively new, and had no prior representation in the parliament.

Speaking on the outcome of the election, Joachim Aigner, MFG’s top candidate who is also a tax consultant, expressed appreciation to the party’s supporters and all members.

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On his part, Michael Brunner, party chairman, said the election result shows that the Austrian people want change.

“The brilliant election result and the entry of MFG into the Upper Austrian state parliament are clearly to be understood as a sign and a powerful word from the Austrian population with the call for total change: We will no longer put up with it! We are ready to defend and restore the rule of law and democracy!” Brunner was quoted as saying.

The party has connected with voters in local communities through physical visits, as well as the use of social media platforms.

At the core of the MFG’s message has been its opposition to the Austrian government’s vaccination drive, and new restrictions that require proof of inoculation to enter restaurants and other indoor spaces.

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Although the party had stated officially that it is not against the vaccine, MFG insists that information on the vaccine must be made available to the public, and people should be allowed the freedom to choose whether to receive the jab or not.

“The government’s measures in the Corona crisis are directed in constant repetition against democracy as well as freedom and fundamental rights. The one-sided orientation towards a virus has caused massive health, social, educational and economic damage, mainly among the weakest in society,” information on its website reads.

“The political spectrum in Austria lacks a force of equilibrium, which advocates democracy and fundamental rights, undiminishedly promotes scientific discourse and the right to freedom of expression. That is why we founded this movement as a party in order to be able to form a force against the excessive, damaging, one-sided, illegal and scientific offensive measures.

“We are the party that takes back power for the people and passes it on to the people.”

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Meanwhile, with a population of nine million people, Austria has confirmed over 730,000 cases, out of which close to 11,000 deaths and over 700,000 recoveries have been recorded.

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