23:20 GMT24 May 2020
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    The chairwoman of the Initiative Heimat und Umwelt said that Green voters should not endorse Alexander Van der Bellen, an independent presidential hopeful backed by Austria’s Greens who have long turned away from their roots.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) Green voters should not endorse Alexander Van der Bellen, an independent presidential hopeful backed by Austria’s Greens who have long turned away from their roots, Inge Rauscher, the chairwoman of the Initiative Heimat und Umwelt (Homeland and Environment) told Sputnik.

    "What used to be ‘Green thinking’ – protecting the homeland, life, tradition, values – Green lawmakers in parliament are long past that, same as Van der Bellen," Rauscher said.

    The environmentalist pointed out that Van der Bellen had been a Social Democrat for a decade before becoming the leader of the Greens party. He is running as a Green-backed independent but is supported by large industrial companies and the nation’s biggest industrialist, Hans-Peter Haselsteiner, Rauscher said.

    Austrians will go to the polls this Sunday to elect the next president after the Austrian constitutional court overturned results of the May election, which saw Van der Bellen win by a slim margin. He is running neck-and-neck with Norbert Hofer, a challenger from the right-wing Freedom Party.

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    Greens Ecologist Party, Alexander Van der Bellen, Austria
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