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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Austrian Government Loses Confidence Vote

VIENNA The Austrian government has lost a no-confidence vote in a special parliamentary session on Monday over the Ibiza corruption scandal.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, leader of the conservative Peoples Party (VP), was the first Austrian chancellor to lose a confidence vote in post-war history.

It came after his former coalition partner the far-right Freedom Party (FP) became embroiled in a corruption scandal over a clandestine video filmed in Ibiza.

In the vote on Monday, 110 deputies voted in favor of removing Kurz and his cabinet of ministers, including four independent experts who replaced FP ministers last week.

Some 71 parliamentarians, including 61 from the VP and 10 from the opposition Social Democrats (SP), voted in favor of keeping the Kurz government until the early elections in September.

Two independent deputies abstained.

Kurz, 32, is the worlds youngest state leader.

It is the first time that an Austrian Government has been dismissed since 1945.

Austrias president must now decide who will be chancellor.

The fall of the government comes after the VP won the European elections on Sunday with 35 percent of the vote.

The party formed a coalition with FP in December 2017 which was shattered on May 19 by the controversial video.

Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor days after the footage emerged, which was secretly recorded in a mansion on the Spanish island in the summer of 2017.

The clip was published by German media and sees Strache meeting with an alleged Russian investor.

The FP leader is seen saying he is willing to commit acts of corruption and take steps to control the national press.

Strache promises public contracts and to help the woman buy the Kronenzeitung, the most influential newspaper in the country, in exchange for millions of donations for his party.

His fellow party member Johann Gudenus, who appears in the video translating from Russian, also resigned from all political positions.

Strache and Gudenus, visibly drunk, described journalists as whores and expressed an ambition to muzzle the press.

The Kremlin previously denied any connection to the scandal and said it was nothing to do with Russia.

 

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