28 May 2019
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday lost a no-confidence vote in Parliament, removing him and his Cabinet from office over a corruption scandal dubbed “Ibiza-gate” that brought down his coalition government. Kurz is one of the youngest leaders in the world.
Mr. Kurz decided to end his coalition with the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) and call early elections in the autumn. The Opposition said the 32-year-old leader must also take responsibility for the scandal and made an application for a no-confidence motion. The no-confidence vote against Kurz and his government took place in a special sitting of parliament with more than half of MPs withdrawing their support to Kurz. Kurz’s former partner, the FPOe, also supported the motion. Kurz said that if the vote succeeded, he would ensure an orderly transition to whoever is appointed next. Parliament needed only a simple majority vote on Monday to pass the no-confidence motion to oust Kurz and his Austrian People’s Party.
Now President Alexander Van der Bellen will appoint experts to lead the government and all the ministries until the elections. In the September vote Kurz could emerge strengthened.
The corruption scandal as exposed in a video published by German media which showed Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache appearing to offer public contracts in return for campaign help from a fake Russian backer. Read more here.
All ministers from the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) resigned from the Cabinet.
Chancellor Kurz made a big win for his conservative People’s Party (OeVP) in Sunday’s European elections, which is projected to gain 34.9 percent of the vote and two extra European parliament seats. This did not help Chancellor Kurz to retain his post.