Stumbling on Corruption Investigation, Austrian Chancellor Kurz Resigns

Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned Saturday to save his coalition government from collapse after a junior party urged him to step down amid an investigation into alleged corruption.

Kurz’s move, which denies any wrongdoing, satisfied his coalition partner, the Greens. His resignation came three days before a special session of parliament preparing to support a no-confidence motion that would remove him.

However, he plans to remain as party leader and become a member of parliament. And he will likely continue to be the driving force behind his coalition.

“I want to take steps to end the stalemate, prevent chaos and ensure stability,” Kurz said in a statement to the media.

He added that he was nominating Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, a career diplomat backed by Kurz’s party, to take over as chancellor. The Green Party has responded positively.

“I believe this is the right step for the future government,” Green Party leader and Deputy Chancellor Werner Kogler said in a statement. He added that he had a “very constructive” working relationship with Schallenberg and would meet him on Sunday (10/10). [vm/ft]

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