Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz resigned shortly after being nominated as a suspect in an investigation by state prosecutors on massive corruption in the heart of the Austrian government.
In a short statement on Saturday night at the Prime Minister’s Office in Vienna, Ballhausplatz, Mr. Kurtz said he was honored to serve as Minister and Prime Minister throughout his 10-year political career.
“My country is more important than I am,” he said, citing the need for stability and leadership as Austria emerged from the coronavirus pandemic. “This is Austria, not me.”
Alexander Schallenberg, the current foreign minister and a member of Austria’s moderate Conservative Party led by Kurtz, will become prime minister.
Kurtz will move to lead the party’s parliamentary faction.
“Kurtz is not actually resigning, he is resigning,” said political consultant Thomas Hofer. “Undoubtedly, he remains in charge of the party and Schallenberg is one of his closest allies. He will be thinking about a comeback.”
Kurz has not been charged with cheating and has not been charged Allegations against him And a member of his inner circle.
Following a police raid across Vienna on Wednesday, anti-corruption prosecutors were involved in a plot to illegally transfer taxpayer money from the Treasury in 2016 and 2017, when Kurtz was still Foreign Minister. Information leaked that he was investigating whether he was a friendly media organization to buy active press and help him utilize him as prime minister.
Over the next 72 hours, the news of the investigation caused a political crisis in Vienna, uniting politically different opposition parties in the country with their desire to expel Kurtz.
Importantly, the 35-year-old Prime Minister, with his sophisticated presentations and political knowledge, once became a poster boy for the conservative political revitalization of Europe. Lost self-confidence His junior coalition partner, Greens, Austria
downfall It ’s the second of Kurtz.: His first government, formed in 2017, collapsed in 2019 after the populist right-wing Liberal Party was involved in a scandal seeking Russian influence in the Austrian media.
On Thursday, the People’s Party’s senior leadership announced solidarity with Kurtz as party leader and prime minister. The party’s regional bosses, ministers, and heads of party associations have signed a joint statement that the People’s Party will only join the government if Kurtz remains in the lead.
But by Friday evening, despite his popular reputation, the strength of political opposition to Kurtz, who became a deeply divided figure in Austria’s political life, became apparent. Greens declared him “unfit for work” and met with three opposition parties in the country to plan his dismissal.
There was even a debate about the possibility of a coalition of the entire opposition and the Greens to show how aggressive the opposition was to get rid of him: liberals and socialists on the far right of Austria. Government right Liberal Party to unite with.
Social Democratic leader Pamela Lendy Wagner met again Saturday afternoon with Liberal boss Herbert Kickle to emphasize the seriousness of the negotiations.
As a result, his determination to support Kurtz began to collapse. According to party insiders, several fierce meetings were held between the party’s bosses and party leaders in the region, who exerted great power.
He tried to recreate the party with his image — rebranded it and drastically changed its political style — Kurtz was a relatively qualified level from the influential old guards of the People’s Party. I just enjoyed the support of.
His resignation from the post of prime minister is unlikely to be the last act of his Austrian political career.
Despite the scandal, Kurtz has been one of Austria’s most popular prime ministers in decades. Recent polls have suggested that he remains the most preferred choice for the Austrian prime minister.
After the collapse of his government with the Liberal Party in mid-2019, he returned to power with a larger vote later that year.
It is unclear whether the Greens will support Schallenberg as prime minister. The Austrian Parliament will be convened on Tuesday to discuss a motion of no confidence in the coalition government.
Austrian Prime Minister Kurtz resigns from corruption investigation
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