Skip to main content

The Office of the Federal President

Things to know about the competences and the election of the Austrian Federal President

The election for the Austrian Federal President will take place on Sunday, October 9, 2022. The possible run-off election will then take place on November 6.

The Office of the Federal President

Pursuant to Article 60(5) of the Federal Constitution, the Federal President is the head of state of the Republic of Austria elected for a term of six years.

He must
* be an Austrian citizen and
* have reached the age of 35.

Since 1951, the Federal President has been elected by the people.

He can be re-elected only once, so that the longest term of office is twelve years.

The powers of the Federal President are:

* the external representation of the Republic of Austria,
* the conclusion of state treaties,
* the supreme command of the Federal Armed Forces,
* the dissolution of the National Council,
* the appointment and dismissal of the Federal Chancellor,
 * the  inaugaration
- of the Federal Chancellor,
- the members of the Federal Government and the
- governors of the provinces,
* the dismissal of the entire federal government
* the convening of the Federal Assembly (meeting of the National Council and the Federal Council)
* the appointment of the judges of the Constitutional Court and the Administrative Court,
* the certification of the constitutional enactment of federal laws,
* the issuance of emergency decrees,
* the conferring of official titles, and
* pardons in criminal law.

In principle, the acts of the Federal President require either.

* a proposal by the Federal Government (or a minister authorized by it), or
* the countersignature of the Federal Chancellor or the minister responsible.

Only on the proposal of the Federal Government may the Federal President dissolve the National Council.

And only on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor dismiss individual ministers and state secretaries.

Without proposal  appoints or dismisses the Federal Chancellor,
* dismisses the entire federal government, and
* appoints an interim federal government.

If the Federal President is prevented from exercising his official duties, then he is represented by the Federal Chancellor for the first 20 days of the prevention. If the prevention lasts longer or if the office is permanently terminated (death, resignation, loss of office, for example, due to a conviction by the Constitutional Court), the representation passes to the three presidents of the National Council, who decide as a collective body. (That is, they decide either unanimously or by a majority of 2:1 votes).

Who is eligible to vote?

Every Austrian citizen who has reached the age of 16 on election day, i.e. celebrates his or her 16th birthday on October 9, or is older.

© 2024 Freiheitliches Bildungsinstitut. All rights reserved.