The President of Austria is directly elected by universal adult suffrage once every six years.The election is held under a two-round system; if no candidate receives more than 50% of votes cast in the first round, then a second ballot occurs in which only those two candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first round may stand.The constitution grants the president the power to appoint the Chancellor and, by extension, federal cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices, military officers, and most major bureaucrats. In practice, however, the president acts as a figurehead.
In the first round of the election, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party of Austria received the most votes.
Alexander Van der Bellen, a member of the Austrian Greens contesting as an independent, placed second.
The candidates of the two governing parties, the Social Democratic and Austrian People's parties, placed fourth and fifth respectively, behind independent Irmgard Griss in third place.
Since no candidate received a majority of the vote, Hofer and Van der Bellen went head-to-head in the second round in May.
She presented her candidacy to the Freedom Party of Austria and NEOS, but both declined to endorse her.