Saying that he had “lost the support” of the party, Austrian Chancellor and SPÖ leader Werner Faymann officially stepped down today. While his successor has not yet been designated, Viennese Mayor Michael Häupl will take over the party on an interim basis, according to the Austrian daily Die Presse.
The Social Democratic party leader Werner Faymann tendered his resignation in a brief speech at the Federal Chancellery after meeting with the country’s party leaders.
In “this time of great challenges” you need the full backing, Faymann said. He feels this support has been lost, and “the majority is not enough.”
Faymann thanked those who had given him their confidence. But the country needs a chancellor, “that has full party support,” and the government in turn needs a “powerful new start.”
His successor is yet to be determined, and Faymann wished them “all the best.” “The stakes are high, Austria’s in the balance.” In office since 2008, he said he was very grateful for the opportunity to serve his country.
The SPÖ states the resignation came as a surprise, which is why Faymann’s successor has not been chosen yet, however, according to Die Presse, a successor will be announced next week.