I can appreciate why such restrictions were put in place, but I think it’s fair to say that they’ve outlived their utility:
A descendant of the Habsburgs is taking Austria to the European Court for Human Rights for not allowing him to run for president, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Ulrich Habsburg-Lothringen could not become a candidate in April 25 elections because he lacked the required number of signatures and Austrian law bars members of all ruling or former ruling families from running for the largely ceremonial post.
The Habsburg dynasty was once Europe’s most influential royal house and held power from the 13th to the early 20th centuries.
The ban — which only applies to the presidency and is enshrined in the constitution — dates back to 1919 when Austria became a republic after centuries of monarchic rule. It was meant to quash any aspirations to reclaim the throne by members of the former royal family.