Friday, 17 January, 2020


Austria president tasks Kurz with forming new government

Sebastian Kurz Sebastian Kurz
Hannah Rogers | 21 October, 2017, 12:13

Van der Bellen invited Kurz to visit him on Friday morning and asked him to put together a coalition, Austria's Der Standard reported.

Earlier, Austrian parliamentary elections held this Sunday were won by the ANP with 31.5% of the votes.

"I will now get straight to work and hold the first discussions, definitely in the coming days, and possibly even today". The strongest party in the elections is given the task of trying to form a new government.

Kurz and his Austrian People's Party took a harsher tone on issues related to migration and Islam during their campaign, sparking criticisms that the OVP was drifting into right-wing populism in the hope of attracting far-right voters. Kurz, 31, who is foreign minister in the outgoing government, is on track to become Europe's youngest leader.

"Based on the election results, I give you the right to form a government as the party leader who won the majority of the votes", the head of state said.

Kurz, named party leader only in May, has been careful to keep his coalition options open, but he called an end to the current alliance with the Social Democrats and pledged to shake up Austrian politics, which for decades has been dominated by coalitions between those two parties.

In Austria as in Germany, each party is traditionally associated with a colour - black for Mr Kurz's OVP, red for the centre-left SPO and blue for the far-right FPO.

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