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Strache to run in Vienna mayoral elections

Leader of Austria's far right Freedom Party (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache has announced his intention to run in next year's mayoral elections in Vienna.

Strache, who has headed up the increasingly popular FPÖ since 2005, announced his desire to become mayor of the capital in an interview with Österreich newspaper published on Sunday.

The FPÖ party has made significant gains in recent elections, achieving around 20% in last years national election and around 19% in the recent EU elections in May. They are currently the biggest opposition party in the Austrian parliament.

Although the party has made an effort to drop its extremist reputation gained whilst under the leadership of the late Jorg Haider, they remaining strongly anti-EU and anti-immigration with a particular criticism of Turkish immigration to Austria.

This was underscored further in Strache's Österreich interview in which he called for Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to stay home and not visit on his planned trip to the country, which the FPÖ leader called  "a pure propaganda campaign for his Erdoganistan".

"I find this alarming. He wants to promote a neo-Ottoman empire and parallel societies in Vienna," Strache said.

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