Austrian president demands that government restore trust

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Austria’s president on Sunday welcomed the resignation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and demanded that the country’s politicians work hard to restore voter confidence after days of drama that brought the government to the brink of collapse.

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President Alexander van der Belen said he would administer the oath to Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schellenberg as chancellor on Monday.

Kurz, 35, announced on Saturday that he would step down to address the political crisis triggered by prosecutors’ announcement that he is one of the targets of the investigation into suspected bribery and breach of trust. His replacement was sought by the Greens, a junior coalition partner of the conservative Kurz. Kurz denies any wrongdoing.


Van der Belen, whose role makes him a key referee in political crises, said Kurz had “made a significant contribution to protecting the integrity of our institutions.”

But “in recent times, citizens’ confidence in politics has once again been shaken, largely shaken,” van der Bellen said in Vienna, “it is up to all who take political responsibility, but the particular In the coming months to restore this confidence in the government.

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“Words alone are not enough,” he said. “This can only be done with serious and focused work, work and more work.”

Kurz and his close associates have been accused of manipulating the leadership of his party and country and of trying to secure the leadership of his party and country with the help of media reports financed from public money. Kurz became leader and then chancellor of his Austrian People’s Party in 2017.

Although he is stepping down as chancellor, he continues his role as party leader and becomes the head of its parliamentary group, placing him at the center of Austrian politics as he fights corruption charges.

Kurz proposed the 52-year-old Schalenberg in response to a demand for a spotless new leader, which the Greens accepted. Schellenberg has remained loyal to Kurz and shares his hard line on preventing migration, but his background is in diplomacy rather than partisan politics.

Schalenberg said his rise on Sunday was “a surprise to all of us” and that he faced “a very daunting task”.


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