17 June 2019

Austria’s chancellor declares formation of interim government

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Candidacies of experts to the posts of ministers from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) will be submitted to the republic’s president throughout the day. After that an interim government will be formed, Chancellor of Austria and leader of the Austrian People's Party Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday. reports citing TASS.

He delivered a speech after consultations with President Alexander Van der Bellen amid the government crisis sparked by former Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache’s resignation.

"The president ordered me to guarantee the working capacity of the government after the resignations and fill the empty positions with experts. The issue concerns the interim government, as well as responsibility when choosing perfect and professional candidacies. I will do it as soon as possible and submit my proposals to the president throughout the day," Kurz said at a news conference in Vienna.

The chancellor said that this move is important for providing stability in Austria and the working capacity of the country in the European Union. "The government carries responsibility in Austria and for Austria, as well as for the European Union," Kurz said.

The president earlier stated that he accepts the resignation of the ministers from the FPO, except for Minister of Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl. Austria is preparing for an early election to the National Council (lower house of parliament) in September 2019. The election was caused by a scandal over the publication in the media of video footage of former FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache and his aide Johann Gudenus discussing with an unknown Russian-speaking woman the possibility of purchasing the newspaper Kronen Zeitung and information support for the FPO’s election campaign ahead of the 2017 parliamentary election in exchange for promise of access to state construction contracts in Austria.

Kurz stated that due to this footage he sees no possibility of further cooperation with the FPO in the coalition government due to the suspicion of authority abuse by the partners.

2019.05.21 / 19:31
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