Sebastian Kurz, Austrian chancellor, loses confidence vote

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Austria’s parliament has voted to remove Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his government from office in a special parliamentary session.

His previous coalition ally, the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), backed the motions brought by the opposition Social Democrats (SPÖ).

The FPÖ had become embroiled in a political scandal caused by a secret video, which ended the coalition. Austria’s president must now decide who will be chancellor.

This leader will head a caretaker government ahead of elections expected in September. Kurz, head of the conservative Austrian People’s Party, is the first chancellor in post-war Austrian history to lose a confidence vote. At 32, he is the world’s youngest state leader.

Kurz did well in Sunday’s EU elections but it was not enough to save him (Reuters)

The SPÖ brought forward the two no-confidence votes – one against Kurz and the other against the government.

While they control only 52 of the 183-seat lower house, the FPÖ – who hold 51 seats – agreed to back the motions, which needed only a simple majority to pass.

Kurz’s surprise strong showing in Sunday’s European Union elections – with a projected 35% of the vote – was not enough to save him. On Facebook he accused the parties of a “game of revenge” ahead of the confidence votes.

The parties ranged against Kurz appeared to believe he should shoulder some of the blame for the fall of the coalition. (BBC)