Dr Heinz Fischer is a former Austrian politician and Federal President of the Republic of Austria. He took office as President of the Republic in 2004 and was re-elected for a second and final term to last until 2016. Prior to being elected Federal President Dr Fischer served as minister of science from 1983 to 1987 and president of the National Council, one of the two houses of the Austrian Parliament. During this time Dr. Fischer was a member of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. He suspended his membership upon election in 2004 and is since then regarded as an independent.