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Far-right candidate Norbert Hofer concedes defeat in Austria

In Austria's presidential race, Norbert Hofer has conceded defeat to Alexander Van der Bellen.

Official results won't come in until Monday, but Van der Bellen, the former leader of the Green Party, is the apparent winner, as exit polls show him with 53.6 percent of the vote. Hofer is a member of the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria, and wrote on Facebook that he is "incredibly sad it didn't work" and asked "all Austrians to stick together. We are all Austrians, no matter what we decided today. Long live our home Austria." Van der Bellen said he "always campaigned for a pro-European Austrian. This is about values: freedom, equality, and solidarity." He also promised to "actively speak to all voters, including those of Hofer's party."

Being president is largely a ceremonial role in Austria. In May, Van der Bellen won the presidential election by slightly more than 30,000 votes, but Hofer and his party challenged the results. There was concern over how some ballots were handled, and the results were annulled. Had Hofer won, Austria would have become the first country in Western Europe to elect a far-right head of state since the end of World War II, CNN reports. On Twitter, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said "the whole of Europe has heaved a sigh of relief."