VIENNA – Austria's interior minister has asked the government to postpone repeat presidential elections because of faulty absentee ballot envelopes, effectively cancelling a vote planned for next month.
Wolfgang Sobotka's decision announced Monday was prompted by a recent finding that hundreds — perhaps thousands — of the envelopes cannot be sealed because the adhesive strips meant to close them are defective.
Austria was to have decided on a president in May after left-leaning contender Alexander Van der Bellen edged out Norbert Hofer of the right-wing Freedom Party. But the country's highest court ordered a rerun after the Freedom Party claimed major irregularities.
The rerun had been scheduled for Oct. 2. With the government needing to create a new law to allow for the postponement, any repeat of the vote is unlikely before November.