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Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 

Austrian chancellor delivers pizza, eyeing a slice of the vote

Austrian chancellor delivers pizza, eyeing a slice of the vote

Vienna, 20 April 2017 (MIA) - Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has spent an evening delivering pizzas in Vienna to get in touch with voters and to get a taste of their concerns, adding to indications that Kern‘s Social Democratic Party is preparing for early elections, dpa reports.

The leader donned a red delivery uniform before taking pizzas to unsuspecting families and asking them for political input, according to a video posted Wednesday on Kern‘s Facebook page. It had been clicked nearly 70,000 times within an hour of being put online.

Austria is in the middle of unofficial pre-election campaigning, even though elections for a new parliament are not due until autumn next year.

"I wanted to chat, because I thought that it would be a good opportunity to get to know people," Kern said in the video.

"Do you have any tips for me?" he asked one surprised young woman.

The publicity stunt generated hundreds of mostly positive online comments. But a few users wondered whether Kern was more interested in public relations than actual work, with one labelling the video as "pizza populism."

Leaders of the Social Democrats and the centre-right People‘s Party deny that their coalition government plans to call voters to the polls. However, some party officials have speculated about early elections and Kern has staged campaign-type events like the pizza deliveries.

If the election were held in 2018 as expected, the election campaign would coincide with Austria‘s turn for holding the EU presidency in the second half of that year. sk/10:58

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