Europe

Defeated right-wing Austrian president hopeful urges unity

  • FILE - In this May 22, 2016 file picture Norbert Hofer presidential  candidate for Austria's  Freedom Party, FPOE, waves during an  election party in Vienna, Austria. The right-wing candidate in Austria's presidential election has acknowledged defeat to a left-leaning rival, in a Facebook post thanking his backers for their support Monday May 23, 2016. .  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, filr)

    FILE - In this May 22, 2016 file picture Norbert Hofer presidential candidate for Austria's Freedom Party, FPOE, waves during an election party in Vienna, Austria. The right-wing candidate in Austria's presidential election has acknowledged defeat to a left-leaning rival, in a Facebook post thanking his backers for their support Monday May 23, 2016. . (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, filr)  (The Associated Press)

  • Norbert Hofer candidate for Austria's Presidency informs the press in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Norbert Hofer candidate for Austria's Presidency informs the press in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

  • Norbert Hofer candidate for Austria's Presidency and Heinz-Christian Strache, head of Austria's Freedom Party, FPOE, from left, inform  the press in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Norbert Hofer candidate for Austria's Presidency and Heinz-Christian Strache, head of Austria's Freedom Party, FPOE, from left, inform the press in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

Norbert Hofer, the right-winger who lost only narrowly to a pro-EU rival in Austrian presidential elections, has joined the winner in asking all citizens to try to overcome the ideological divisions that led to the close contest.

Speaking Tuesday, Hofer asked "Austrians to stick together."

His opponent, Alexander Van Der Bellen, won the race with 50.3 percent of the votes, ompared with 49.7 percent for Hofer.

Van der Bellen, a former Greens party leader who ran as an independent, is also looking to bridge the differences.

He quit the party after his win was announced, in a gesture underlining his intention to be a president for all and declared that both political camps together make "this beautiful Austria."