Sebastian Kurz Resigns As Chancellor, Foreign Minister Schallenberg to Take Over

Sebastian Kurz announced today that he will step down as chancellor. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) is tapped to take over.

Sebastian Kurz announced another impromptu press conference for today, October 9, at 19:30.

Kurz announced that he will “step aside” and resign as chancellor, but he will remain ÖVP party chief and MP in the Parliament. As a deputy in Parliament, Kurz will enjoy immunity against criminal investigations unless and until a parliamentary committee lifts his immunity. The ÖVP has already issued a statement that they will support such a move, thereby making it possible for the investigations to proceed.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (also ÖVP) should take over as chancellor “until the accusations are cleared up.”

Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) has commented the resignation of Sebastian Kurz from the office of Chancellor and Head of Government as a right step for Austria: “Sebastian Kurz has informed me of his resignation as Chancellor and, in view of the current situation, I consider this to be the right step for future government work in responsibility for Austria and Austria’s reputation abroad.”

“The cooperation with Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has been very constructive so far. I have arranged a first meeting with the foreign minister proposed by the ÖVP for the office of chancellor for tomorrow,” Kogler said.

Short Summary of Kurz’s Speech

7:41 p.m.

Kurz gives a kind of résumé of the government’s time with the Greens so far.

7:41 p.m.

The chancellor reiterates that the accusations against him are false.

7:42 p.m.

There have already been investigations against other politicians. What’s new, he says, is that this time “the coalition partner has decided to take a clear stand against me.”

7:43 p.m.

Kurz thanks his own party for its support and the public’s encouragement.

7:44 p.m.

“Stalemate”

Kurz sees the coalition in stalemate. The pandemic is not over yet, however, and the economic upswing has only just begun. It would therefore be irresponsible to “slip into chaos” for months.

7:44 p.m.

Austria needs “stability and responsibility” and the guarantee that the economy recovery reaches everyone

7:45 p.m.

Politics hould never be about personal interests or tactics. “My country is more important to me than my person.”

7:45 p.m.

Kurz announces his resignation as chancellor, he “will step aside.” He wants to make way to prevent chaos and ensure stability.

7:47 p.m.

Current foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg will replace Sebastian Kurz as chancellor. Kurz will sit in Parliament as club chairman (party chief). And he will try to refute the accusations against him.

7:48 p.m.

Kurz reiterates that the welfare of the country is always more important to him than himself.

7:48 p.m.

Kurz left the room after the short statement. Questions were not possible.

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Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history. Photo: Visual Hub

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