Chancellor of Austria resigns less than two months after taking office

MADRID, 2 (.)

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg resigned on Thursday after Sebastian Kurz, the leader of his party, the Austrian People’s Party (OVP), announced his retirement from politics.

Schallenberg announced Thursday that he would resign from the Chancellery “as soon as the relevant course is established within the party.” The Austrian press was already pointing to the Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, in the morning as Kurz’s possible successor at the head of the political party.

“It is not my intention and it has never been my objective to assume the role of party leader,” he indicated in a series of messages on his Twitter social network account, before noting that, in his opinion, the offices of the head of the Government and ruling party leader “must meet in one hand.” He has also indicated that Kurz’s decision generates “respect” and has appreciated his work for Austria.

According to the newspaper ‘Kronen Zeitung’, Nehammer could assume the leadership of the OVP and be appointed chancellor this Friday.

Kurz has justified this Thursday morning that it was the birth of his son that finally made him make the decision to retire from politics. He has also referred to the accusations of corruption that weigh on him and has indicated that the last months have been “very exhausting”.

Kurz is accused of inciting the payment of bribes, while several people in his closest circle are accused of paying bribes, notably his media strategists Johannes Frischmann and Gerald Fleischmann.

The investigation is related to polls allegedly commissioned by the Austrian Ministry of Finance in which Kurz and the Austrian People’s Party were favored and which appeared in a group of media in the country. As a result of the scandal, the Greens, Kurz’s coalition partners, had demanded his resignation to remain in government.

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