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Left-leaning Winner of Austrian Presidential Vote Sworn In

  • Associated Press

Newly sworn-in Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is surrounded by lawmakers in the parliament in the Austrian capital Vienna, Jan. 26, 2017.

Alexander Van der Bellen has been sworn in as Austria's president, the last act of a dramatic race for the position won by the left-leaning economics professor after a repeat vote.

Defeated rival Norbert Hofer, a right-wing populist who is also one of three presidents of parliament, was among those present for the parliamentary ceremony Thursday.

Van der Bellen had narrowly won the initial elections, but Austria's Constitutional Court ordered a repeat after Hofer's Freedom Party claimed widespread voting irregularities.

While the presidency is a mostly symbolic post, the race had attracted Europe-wide attention as the next possible victory for populists after Donald Trump's presidential win in the United States and Britain's Brexit vote.

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