Austrian government collapses following corruption scandal and no-confidence motion

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Publication Date May 2019
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On 27 May, Austrian lawmakers voted a no-confidence motion against Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, People's Party (ÖVP), and his entire government. The following day, President Alexander Van der Bellen relieved the government of its duties and put in arrangements for a provisional, technocratic government until early elections widely expected in September.

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Kurz's coalition government collapsed in mid-May after the leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, resigned as vice-chancellor following the publication of a video, filmed two years ago, showing him promising a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch public contracts in return for positive coverage in Austrian media. On 20 May, all FPÖ ministers resigned as well. As a result, Kurz called for a snap election in September.

Opposition leaders called for a no-confidence vote, accusing Kurz of abusing their trust in his government.

President Van der Bellen appointed the head of the country's constitutional court, Brigitte Bierlein as Austria's chancellor to lead an interim government until elections later in the year, on 30 May.

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Commentary and Analysis
Deutsche Welle, 18/05/2019: Opinion: Austria's far-right show their true colors
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EurActiv, 20/05/2019: Socialists lash out against EU conservatives over Austria’s far-right scandal
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Deutsche Welle, 19/05/2019: Austria to hold snap polls in September after corruption sting
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EurActiv, 31/05/2019: Brigitte Bierlein becomes Austria’s first female chancellor

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