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Politics in Austria


Politics in Austria

Austria is a parliamentarian, federal republic consisting of nine federal states (see list above). The official head of the state is the federal president (Bundespräsident), who is elected directly by the people for a term of six years. His/her function is mainly representative, however, and the federal chancellor (Bundeskanzler), appointed by the president, runs most of the day-to-day politics. The Austrian parliament consists of two chambers, the Nationalrat (National Council) with 183 members as the main chamber and the Bundesrat (Federal Council). Whereas the members of the National Council are elected every four years by popular vote, the 62 members of the Federal Council are elected by each of the legislatures of the states of Austria for 4- to 6-year terms. The composition of the Bundesrat changes after every election to a state's Landtag (State Parliament). The Austrian constitution provides the Bundesrat with the right to veto legislation passed by the National Council; in most cases this is only a suspensive veto, meaning the National Council can override it by passing the law again. There are five major parties in Austria: The social democrats (SPÖ), the (conservative) Austrian people's party (ÖVP), the (right-wing) freedom party (FPÖ) which recently split into two parties (FPÖ and the alliance for the future of Austria BZÖ) and the (leftist) Green Party. The current government consists of a coalition of SPÖ and ÖVP.

The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Austria


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Austria Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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