Two months ago, Sebastian Kurz resigned from the position of chancellor on the grounds of corruption charges and the prosecution under investigation. On Thursday, he announced the end of his 10-year political career. On the same day, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg resigned, as well as Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel, who at the same time announced – like Kurz – a complete withdrawal from politics. On Friday, it was officially confirmed that Karl Nehammer, who so far has been the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be the new head of the Austrian government. Nehammer will also replace Sebastian Kurz as chairman of the party – he was appointed unanimously to this position by the federal board of OeVP – reports “Kronen Zeitung”.
Austria. Allegations of bribery and loss of trust by the ruling party
The reasons for Kurz’s decision were discussed at TOK FM by dr hab. Justyna Miecznikowska from the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw. According to her, there is a combination of equal conditions behind it. – The last months have been very difficult for him, he has struggled with a wave of accusations, allegations of bribery or abuse of trust. The accusations against him, the feeling of losing the trust of the electorate and his own political formation led him to a feeling of losing the sense of political activity, she pointed out.
The guest of the program also emphasized a significant drop in the polls of the ruling party he leads. – At the moment the party has approx. 22-23 percent. support, and when he recently won the elections, it gained over 37.5% of the vote. votes, she said. – Kurz has become a ball at the foot of its own formation, and not its locomotive, as it has been so far, she assessed.
– So it is definitely a cold calculation, profit and loss account, the awareness that if he were to return to politics, it would not be in the role he previously played, i.e. the leader of the political formation – she added .
Justyna Miecznikowska also indicated that personal reasons played a role. Sebastian Kurz recently became a father, and in his speech he indicated that he realized that there are also beautiful and exceptional things that can happen outside of politics.
Resignations in the Austrian government. “It was such a chancellor for a moment”
After Kurz announced his decision, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (OeVP), who had been in this position for only 52 days, also resigned. Dr. Miecznikowska pointed out that Schallenberg is not a charismatic politician enough to become Kurz’s successor and take over the party. – He is not a politician who enjoys wide support from his formation. He was only seen as such a chancellor for a while, in difficult times – she said. Meanwhile, the party is losing support, tormented by internal problems, the scandal against Kurz, a weak chancellor or a pandemic crisis, she assessed.
However, this does not mean an early election in Austria. Karl Nehammer was unanimously elected head of the Austrian People’s Party by the members of the Austrian People’s Party. He is also to take the position of the new chancellor.