Fans affectionately call him “the professor” or “Sascha”, a nickname for Alexander that nods to his Russian roots, while his critics rebuke him as a arrogant “green dictator”.
Instead of recovering Austria’s domestic rift, president-elect Alexander Van der Bellen valid as divisive a figure in a country’s spike satirical care competition as his far-right rival.
Despite subsidy from a nation’s many shining personalities, including Chancellor Christian Kern, a ex-Green celebration personality struggled to remonstrate many regressive voters, who indicted him of pandering to a left.
But he managed to kick a contingency to trill Norbert Hofer of a Freedom Party (FPOe) by a paper-thin domain of 31,000 votes.
“He’s a obtuse immorality of a two,” was a ordinarily listened word during polling stations in Vienna, and Van der Bellen even used this representation to uncertain Austrians.
“I ask all those who don’t like me though maybe like Hofer even reduction to opinion for me,” he had pleaded forward of Sunday’s runoff.
In his initial debate as president-elect, Mr Van der Bellen vowed to combine a divided nation, seeking to win a trust of a 2.2 million people who voted for Mr Hofer.
“There’s been a lot of speak about this country’s rifts, though we consider we can also appreciate a separate as a pointer that we are dual sides of a same silver and any side is as critical as a other,” he said.
“Together we make adult Austria.”
From economics highbrow to politician
At 72, a grey-haired economics highbrow cut a rather disassembled figure subsequent to gun fan Mr Hofer, 45.
But initial impressions can be misleading.
Mr Van der Bellen’s decade-long career as personality of a Greens until 2008 has incited him into an flexible and during times assertive competition in debates.
“I don’t wish that Austria becomes a initial nation in western Europe led by a populist right-wing, pan-Germanic companionship member,” he told voters.
He also vowed not to swear in FPOe authority Heinz-Christian Strache as chancellor if a party, now forward in polls, wins a subsequent ubiquitous choosing scheduled for 2018.
The acknowledgement stirred Mr Hofer to call him a “fascist immature dictator”.
Increasingly pointy exchanges between a dual group mostly degenerated into domestic mud-slinging, highlighting their vivid differences over issues like a migrant crisis.
Analysis from Europe match Steve Cannane:
“The new boss faces large challenges. He is a Green-left politician, a child of refugees who is pro-immigration, understanding of minorities and in foster of a European Union.
“He now has to find a approach of ordering a nation where scarcely half a people only voted for a far-right politician who vehemently disagrees with only about all he stands for.”
Mr Van der Bellen suggested he himself was a “child of refugees who has perceived a lot from Austria”.
Born in 1944 in Vienna, his father was a Russian nobleman and his mom was Estonian. Both had fled Stalinism.
The attainment of a Red Army a year after forced a family to shun to a southern state of Tyrol, where Mr Van der Bellen spent an “idyllic childhood”.
He complicated economics during a University of Innsbruck and finished his PhD in 1970 before going on to turn vanguard of economics during a University of Vienna dual decades later.
Mr Van der Bellen’s professorial demeanour has turn a informed feature, mostly riling Mr Hofer.
“I’m articulate about Europe: E-U-R-O-P-E. Never listened of it?” Van der Bellen taunted his competition during a TV duel.
“My God, a schoolmasterliness, Mr. Doctor Van der Bellen,” an vibrated Mr Hofer shot back.
Van der Bellen admits weaknesses for comics and cigarettes
Adversaries have also indicted Mr Van der Bellen of being a “turncoat” since he was a member of a Social Democrats before fasten a Greens in a early 1990s and eventually apropos their president.
Under his leadership, a celebration went on to grasp record results, though he quit after a 2008 choosing when a Greens mislaid votes for a initial time in roughly 10 years.
Who is Norbet Hofer?
Promoting policies allied to those of Donald Trump, ultra jingoist personality Norbert Hofer was deliberate a favourite to win a election.
As Austrian president, he dreams of a fence-free “United States of Europe” that defends a rights of minority groups.
An outspoken believer of happy marriage, a divorced and recently remarried father-of-two garnered signatures from some-more than 4,000 open total in a march of his presidential campaign.
This stirred a clearly unimpressed Mr Hofer to conflict his opposition for being too highbrow: “You have a glitterati, though we have a people,” he snapped.
In his private life, Mr Van der Bellen admits to dual weaknesses: Donald Duck comics and cigarettes.
“I once quit for 4 months … though because should we woe myself during my age!” he said.