Austria’s chancellor has been ousted in a no-confidence vote just a day after his centre-right party enjoyed a triumphant night in the European elections, after opposition politicians lost faith in his handling of a corruption scandal that has engulfed his former far-right coalition partner.
Austria will be governed by a technocratic administration of experts and senior civil servants until fresh elections scheduled for early September.
During a debate in which the delegates of the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ) resolutely refused to lend Sebastian Kurz the customary applause, rightwing populist politicians accused the centre-right chancellor of trying to use the so-called Ibiza scandal to consolidate his power at the top of government.
Opposition delegates said that Kurz, the leader of the Austrian People’s party (ÖVP), had not shown enough willingness to enter into a dialogue with parliament during his time as chancellor. “You only showed contempt for parliament and Austrian democracy”, said the SPÖ’s Jörg Leichtfried.
The vote makes Austria’s youthful chancellor the final figure to be swept away by a political avalanche unleashed by the Ibiza scandal.
SOURCE: Philip Oltermann