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Ulrike Haider-Querica withdraws candidacy for European elections

After just one month of her election campaign to become an MEP for Austria's right-wing BZO party, Ulrike Haider-Querica has withdrawn from the race.

The daughter of the late populist leader Joerg Haider, who founded the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO) party, said she has decided to no longer run for the European Parliament because of criticism about her candidacy from within the party.

"Criticism was raised against my pro-European positions and my views on security policy in Europe. Therefore, I am no longer available as lead candidate for the BZO list," she has said.

Law professor Haider-Querica had hoped to revitalise the Alliance for the Future of Austria who had flagged behind in the election polls following the death of her charismatic father in a car crash in 2008.

The news follows the withdrawal of right-wing FPOe politician Andreas Moelzer as his party's top candidate for the European Parliament elections being held in May 2014.

Moelzer decided this week to step down as the top candidate following weeks of criticism from top Austrian politicians, including President Heinz Fischer, about Moelzer's complaint that the EU was at risk of becoming a 'conglomerate of Negroes'. FPOe party leader Heinz-Christian Strache had also distanced himself from the comments saying the Moelzer was not the "party's chief ideologue".

A third Austrian Eurosceptic party Team Stronach have also announced that they will not be putting forward a candidate for the European elections. The party, which was founded by Canadian-Austrian billionaire Frank Stronach and fared worse than expected in the Austrian national elections last year, has said needed to concentrate on coming provincial and national polls.

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