Start News Austria is to re-elect in September

Austria is to re-elect in September

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The new election in Austria is scheduled to take place in early September – this was suggested by Federal President Van der Bellen after talks with Chancellor Kurz. It is unclear whether the FPÖ will stay in government until then.

After the collapse of the coalition of ÖVP and FPÖ, the Austrians are to elect a new parliament in early September. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen proposed this appointment after talks with Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The country needed as soon as possible a reconstruction of the confidence in politics, he said. It is about the welfare of the country and the reputation of Austria in the world.

Prime Minister Kurz said the re-election was „not a wish“ – „she was a necessity“. In the months leading up to the election, maximum stability had to be achieved. He will hold talks with all parties.

The meeting was about developing a roadmap for the new election. It is still unclear whether the FPÖ will remain in government until the election. In the evening, the party announced that the Austrian Minister of Transport Norbert Hofer was unanimously appointed to the new party leader in the meeting of the FPÖ Federal party presidency. At the next meeting of the Federal Party Executive, which will take place after the European elections, this decision should be formally confirmed.

FPÖ club boss Johann Gudenus meanwhile announced his resignation from the FPÖ – „with immediate effect“ – as he announced. Likewise, he would resign his national council mandate. Gudenus had translated in the video.

Political scientist Peter Filzmaier told ORF that it was conceivable that the FPÖ ministers would be replaced by experts appointed by the Federal President.

Even the Governor of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ), announced early elections. In the Austrian federal state, the SPÖ rules with the FPÖ.

Video affair uncovered

ÖVP leader Kurz had renounced the coalition with the right-wing populist FPÖ, after a video on Friday had brought their party leader Strache in distress: It shows him in 2017 in Ibiza, as he boasts of an alleged Russian oligarch and offers her dubious business.

For example, he offers her government contracts at inflated prices if she buys herself in Austria’s „Kronen-Zeitung“ and helps him win the election by directing reports. The „Süddeutsche Zeitung“ and the „Spiegel“ had uncovered the meeting with the woman who should have been a decoy.

After a long crisis meeting on Saturday, Kurz said in a press conference that despite the successful cooperation of the coalition, the video is making an inevitable end. He said that the FPÖ pity „the reputation of our country“. He did not get the impression that there was a will in the FPÖ to change the party. That is urgently necessary. Therefore he proposes new elections.

„Soberly catastrophic“

Strache had declared after the release of the video his retreat from his posts as Vice Chancellor and FPÖ leader. In the press statement he spoke of a „targeted political assassination“ and announced criminal investigations. But he also called his comments „catastrophic and embarrassingly sober“ and excused them as a „typically alcoholic macho posturing“. In his view, however, he had not admitted to breaking the law.